The Air Force on Thursday called for a fleet-wide inspection of older C-130 transports after discovery of upper wing joint nut cracks in a Hercules undergoing routine depot maintenance at Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Georgia, reports the Macon Telegraph. The inspection does not apply to the new J model. Field units have been instructed to make the inspections and replace any cracked nuts. The active duty, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve Command have some 526 older C-130s in various configurations, with the average age for the majority around 35-40 years. An Air Mobility Command spokesman told the Telegraph that the immediate inspection order did not apply to units currently engaged in Southwest Asia operations. According to an Associated Press report, the inspections take about four hours per aircraft.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.