179th Airlift Wing Receives C-130H2 Upgraded Models

179th Airlift Wing Receives C-130H2 Upgraded Models

  • 8/14/2019 3:21:51 PM
  • WMFD Digital Team
  • Local News

MANSFIELD, OH- The 179th Airlift Wing at Mansfield Lahm Airport is welcoming three C-130H2 models to their current C-130H fleet. The First two planes arrived on July 19 and the third arrived last Thursday to add to the bases fleet. 

The new additions comes on the heels following an announcement from Air Mobility Command regarding a C-130 Rainbow Fitting Cracking issue.

Air Mobility Command's announcement ordered the temporary removal of 123 of 450 Total Force C-130 Hercules from service from service on August 7, after atypical cracks were discovered on the lower center wing joint, or "rainbow fitting", during a programmed depot maintenance. This affected 5 of 11 of the 179th Airlift Wing's C-130 Aircraft and after inspection, no cracks were discovered. 

"I want to thank all members across the wing for their over the top effort this week in taking care of the immediate grounding inspection," said Col. Todd K. Thomas, 179th Airlift Wing Commander."You continue to put the safety of our Airmen at the highest priority, and still minimized our C-130 fleet downtime."

The new planes, which recently received modifications at Dyess Air Force Base in Texas, and are in the process of being altered for Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast Out (ADS-B Out) modification, which should should be completed in the coming months. 

These modifications allow the planes to fly in Class B and above airspace, allowing them to safely share congested airspace with commercial aircraft.The aircraft also arrived equipped with Electronic Propeller Control Systems, which is a huge advance for the 179th Airlift Wing maintenance team. The EPCS upgrades will replace the hydro mechanical propeller control system, which most of the planes currently assigned to the unit use. 

Col. Ken Kmetz, 179th Maintenance Group Commander and incoming Vice Commander of the 179th Airlift Wing, shared his excitement about these aircraft and what it means to the unit. 

"This is a big deal for Mansfield and out future capability as we transition yet again to H2's," said Kmetz. " we will have had 38 aircraft assigned to us in the last ten years once we receive our last H2 and digest our last H1- we had 17 aircraft assigned to us over the previous 35 years."

The unit operates with some of the oldest aircraft in the entire Air Force inventory but all the aircraft must be modernized to meet the needs of tomorrow's Air Force, as well as the Federal Aviation Administration's ADS-B Out requirements. 

"We project these aircrafts are here to stay for years to come," said Col. Kmetz. "These aircraft will be much more capable and enduring while giving our operators much better combat situational awareness." 

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