Super Herks Create Super Formation

Sixteen C-130Js took to the sky above Dyess AFB, Tex., this week for a training exercise, creating the largest Super Hercules formation ever, according to base officials. “We didn’t do this to make history,” said Col. Walter Ward, 317th Airlift Group commander, in a July 5 Dyess release. “That is a byproduct of what we did. We pushed ourselves to the maximum capability of the aircraft, our maintainers, and our operators today to practice standard textbook procedures, to execute them with precision, so that if we’re called upon to do a large formation-type scenario, we can deliver with confidence.” Crews conducted two simulated airdrops during the July 2 mission. Dyess has received 20 Super Herks since April 2010 and is slated to have a total of 28 in place next year, making it the largest C-130J unit in the world, according to base officials. “This is a huge show of our ability to put this many aircraft in the air,” said Maj. Daniel Hilferty of the 317th Operations Support Squadron. “A 16-ship formation takes a lot in order to manage it.”