A four-ship formation of C-130J Hercules manned by Air Force Reserve personnel from the 913th Airlift Group took off from Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, March 7. The low-level flight along the Buffalo River and Pinnacle Mountain included training cargo bundles that were airdropped to simulate delivering supplies to a deployed forward operating base. Arkansas’s terrain and available training assets allow for a large number of exercise scenarios to be supported in one location.
Maintenance personnel are responsible for aircraft inspections, timely repair, aircraft launch and recovery. Aerial transportation specialists specialize on quickly and accurately plan, load, and unload cargo. Planning involves the scheduling of flights and part-time traditional reservists effectively, ensuring aircrew maintain their currency and progress. This is all dependent on aircraft availability, requiring close coordination with our active duty counterparts.
The U.S. Air Force Reserve 913th Airlift Group is in a classic association with the 19th Airlift Wing, Air Mobility Command. Early 2019 was the group’s first deployment as a combat-coded unit and the culmination of training in preparation for support to worldwide mobility taskings. This flying and maintenance package consisted of our traditional reservists, full-time reservists, and active duty components to deliver combat airlift downrange. It is assigned to 22d Air Force and is stationed at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas. It was activated 13 July 2014.
The C-130 was designed to transport troops, vehicles, and machinery in and out of combat zones, landing on small, unimproved field and dirt landing strips if paved runways were not available. The first C-130 model was used in the 1950s and continues to prove itself as the workhorse of the Air Force. The C-130J is a comprehensive update of the Lockheed C-130 Hercules, with new engines, flight deck, and other systems. 400 C-130J aircraft have been delivered to 17 nations. The Hercules family has the longest continuous production run of any military aircraft in history.