News: Super Hercules arrives at Bagram
Story by Senior Airman Kayla Newman
BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan - On the morning of Jan. 9, 2013, the first C-130 Hercules departed Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, for the final time, while the first C-130J Super Hercules arrived from Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan.
“With the reductions that are going on in the AOR, the U.S. Air Force has reduced the number of C-130’s,” said Lt. Col. Michael Brock, 774 Expeditionary Airlift Squadron commander. “This has allowed us to move from Kandahar to Bagram.”
The C-130 Hercules were stationed at Bagram for approximately four months before embarking on their return home to Yokota Air Base, Japan, F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo. and Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark.
While the tactical environment is the same at Kandahar as it is Bagram, the C-130J Super Hercules, deployed from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, will provide Bagram with some key capabilities that will enhance the overall flying mission.
“With the C-130J, there are two extra pallet positions which allow for more cargo, as well as better engine performance that you don’t have with the C-130 Hercules,” explained Capt. Matthew Crowley, 774 EAS C-130J Super Hercules aircraft commander.
According to Brock, the avionics upgrade in the C-130J Super Hercules is also a key difference between the two aircrafts.
“We no longer have a navigator or a flight engineer with the C-130J Super Hercules,” said Brock. “The avionics upgrade allows for us to have those two less crew members.”
With those two less crew members, the C-130J Super Hercules is able to still meet their force management level production numbers without losing any capability, potentially increasing their capabilities because they can carry more cargo.
The transition from Kandahar to Bagram was four day process, where the C-130J Super Hercules was still able to support over 80 missions, including an air drop.
“We planned this move for months,” explained Brock, who is a native of Detroit, Mich. “From our maintainers to our ops and logistics, to the planning that happened at the air mobility division, it was a complete team effort.”
During the transition, there were roughly 98 tons of cargo and almost 1,000 passengers moved.
With the successful move up north, Brock believes it was the heart and soul of the team that made the transition happen.
While the newly arrived C-130J Super Hercules may only have a couple of months left on their tour, their sister squadron from Dyess will be the ones to replace them.
“It has been a few years since the C-130J Super Hercules has been at Bagram, but now they are going to be here for a while,” said Brock.