Tag Archives: C-130

Week in photos, Feb. 3, 2012

 U.S. Air Force C-130J Hercules cargo aircraft By Airman 1st Class Krystal Tomlin
U.S. Air Force Public Affairs

With a wing span a great as four F-16s the C-130 is a massive aircraft. To see such a huge piece of equipment take-off is a mesmerizing site. In this photo the Hercules soars above the cloud deck followed by the smoke of flares swirling in a frenzy of displaced air.

This photo says “The sky is the limit and the U.S. Air Force goes beyond that.” Whether we’re bringing troops and supplies into a hostile area or aid to a disaster torn nation, the Air Force gets the job done.

Jump on over to our Flickr site to see more examples of awesome airpower in our most recent Air Force Week in Photos set.

Photo: A U.S. Air Force C-130J Hercules cargo aircraft from the 146th Airlift Wing, California Air National Guard, conducts flare training off the Ventura County coast Jan. 10, 2012. The flares are used as tactical infrared countermeasures to confuse and redirect heat-seeking missiles. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Dave Buttner)

Week in photos Dec. 15, 2011

Air Force Toy drop  By Airman 1st Class Krystal Tomlin
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

The Operation Toy Drop photo from this week’s Air Force week in photos exemplifies one of the Air Force’s most valuable contributions while bringing smiles to faces of children during the holiday season.

Photo: Members of the 914th Airlift Wing participate in the annual Operation Toy Drop at Fort Bragg, N.C., Dec. 10, 2011. Operation Toy Drop is a weeklong project where Fort Bragg’s paratroopers donate toys to be distributed to local children in need. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Joseph McKee)

Photo of the day, Nov. 28, 2011

Operation Enduring Freedom

Photo: U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Ranon Barber with the 774th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron calculates the weight of bundles of food and supplies loaded on a U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Nov. 23, 2011. The bundles will be airdropped to Soldiers at remote locations in eastern Afghanistan. Barber is deployed from the Air National Guard’s 145th Airlift Wing out of Charlotte, N.C. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jeffrey Allen)

Planes break, plans change, people make things happen

By Gene Kamena, Professor
Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark.

Mr. Kamena, retired Army colonel, is a professor at Air War College where he teaches leadership. In this post, he discusses the great leadership he witnessed on his way to a conference.

The Air Force has its traditions; I guess a 4 a.m. show time for a 6:30 a.m. takeoff is one of them … at least that was the plan.

The propellers were already turning on the C-130J Super Hercules as we walked out of the hangar towards the plane. The familiar smell of jet fuel sent me back to distant places and other times. I had been here before, but never as a civilian and never wearing blue jeans. I was preparing to travel to the Air Education and Training Command symposium in San Antonio.

Chalk two — my chalk — began loading at 6:30 a.m. The plane started rolling at 7 a.m., but 30 minutes on the ramp seemed unusually long. I knew something was awry. When the C-130J finally came to a stop, my suspicions were confirmed.

The plane was “hard broke,” and I knew this could turn into a long day. However, the NCOs took control, and within minutes, had the passengers divided up and placed on other planes. The plan was that my aircraft would have a two-hour layover at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., to pick-up other passengers before flying to San Antonio.

Thankfully, the flight to Eglin AFB was uneventful, except for one thing — the plane’s loadmaster. Having served more than thirty years in the Army had trained my eyes to watch people, particularly NCOs while they went about their duties. I always learned something when watching a good NCO. This loadmaster was one of them. He went about his tasks with a determined purpose. He checked everything, he ensured other crew members completed their responsibilities, and he kept a watchful eye on all the passengers.

The plane landed with a jolt. We were no longer airborne, but the loadmaster was still diligent in his duties. He directed us off the back ramp while the plane took on fuel, led us a safe distance away and kept all the passengers together. After all, herding a group of colonels and civilians is no easy task.

The remainder of our time at Eglin AFB was spent off the tail of the C-130J, watching the plane refuel and waiting for additional passengers to show. The time passed quickly as I conversed with the loadmaster — a great young American.
Staff Sgt. Dave Sanders was enthusiastic about his job, his Air Force and his unit — the 62nd Airlift Squadron from Little Rock AFB, Ark. He took pride in his plane, and it showed. It was also obvious he knew his job, and did it well.

Sergeant Sanders has been in the Air Force for 10 years and wants to continue serving as a C-130 loadmaster; in fact, that is all he wants to do. He is articulate, motivated and professional. Our chance encounter left this retired Army colonel with a sense of satisfaction; the aircraft and the people under the charge of Sergeant Sanders will continue to be in good hands.

A couple leadership points are worth considering, especially for those of us who stay behind a desk or in classrooms a large portion of our day:

— There are great people in the Air Force; you just have to get out and meet them. Take time to speak to enlisted members; ask them their stories. You will be amazed at their professionalism and patriotism.

— The best thing a leader can do, when leading people like Sergeant Sanders, is provide them with what they need to do their jobs … and then stay out of their way.

— Airplanes break and plans change, but people of Sergeant Sanders’s caliber overcome and make things happen.

My first AETC symposium was a good experience. The lectures and speeches were excellent, but I think what I heard and saw at the conference will soon fade. My conversation with an Air Force loadmaster has made a lasting impression.

PHOTO:  The 48th Airlift Squadron trains C-130J pilots and loadmasters for the United States Air Force. Adept, responsive and reliable are words that help describe the 48th’s mission, and their Airmen are ready to hop to it. (U.S. Air Force photo by Steele C. G. Britton)