Engineers test fitted a “crashworthy” loadmaster’s seat to an HC-130P rescue tanker during depot maintenance last week at Moody AFB, Ga. The seat is meant to improve crew survivability in the event of a mishap. “Loadmasters have been asking for it for years, and now we are finally able to give it to them,” said MSgt. Patrick Melady, Air Combat Command’s HC-130 weapon system superintendant. The seat anchors directly to the aircraft structure, incorporating a full harness and support system. The current seat is less robust, consisting of a foam cushion affixed to metal struts. “This new design will offer a safer, more secure seat for loadmasters to scan for threats and observe aerial refueling,” said Tim Martin, an engineer with Moody’s 23rd Maintenance Group. Plans are to install the seat on the entire HC-130P fleet once engineers have perfected the design. (Moody report by A1C Jarrod Grammel)
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.