Turning the Page at Dyess

For the first time in more than 3,000 days, the 317th Airlift Group at Dyess AFB, Tex., does not have a C-130H transport deployed in support of US military operations worldwide, according to base officials. That streak, stretching back to Dec. 20, 2003, came to an end on May 20 when one of the group’s C-130Hs, tail number 31598, returned home after performing combat and humanitarian missions in Southwest Asia, states a May 23 Dyess release. The airlift unit will no longer deploy C-130Hs since it is upgrading to new, more capable C-130Js, which will assume the overseas rotations. “This is the turning of a new page,” said Lt. Col. George Clark, commander of Dyess’ 39th Airlift Squadron. Later this year, the last of the group’s 33 C-130Hs is scheduled to depart for good, states the release. Dyess received its first C-130H airplane in March 1975, it states. (Dyess report by SrA. Robert Hicks)