The 314th Airlift Wing at Little Rock AFB, Ark., has only 15 C-130E transports remaining after retiring tail number 62-1788 to the boneyard at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz. This airframe, built in 1962, participated in the Tet Offensive and other major operations from 1967 to 1973 during the Vietnam War. Overall, the airlift workhorse flew 31,565.5 hours in its nearly 50-year career. Arriving at Davis-Monthan on Nov. 29, airmen will now use it for spare parts. Little Rock’s remaining C-130Es are scheduled for phaseout by September 2011, as the Air Force makes way for C-130Js and C-130Hs with upgraded avionics. “These E-models have served us so very well,” said Col. Mark Czelusta, 314th AW commander. He continued, “Prior to our beginning specialized training in the J-model, every C-130 crewmember … began their mission-qualifying training in the E-model.” (Davis-Monthan report by Capt. Joe Knable)
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.