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Group flies final C-130H mission, preps for J-model

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Jeff Walston
  • 913th Airlift Group
The 913th Airlift Group flew its final C-130H mission Jan. 28, as the wing prepared to transition to the J-model of the venerable Hercules transporter.

This flight means the mission for the 913th has officially changed from the “H” to the “J” model,” said Lt. Col. Keith Jasmin, chief of current operations for the 913th Operations Support Squadron.

“We’ve been balancing both, but now, we transition to the J.”From its modest beginnings in October 2010, as 22nd Air Force Detachment One, the 913 AG has grown from two Airmen to more than 800. The group’s personnel flew, maintained and supported the Air Force mission in 14 C-130H Hercules. But no more.

Many active and Reserve C-130H aircraft are being replaced by the C-130J Super Hercules, a comprehensive updated version with new engines, flight deck and other systems, all designed to improve performance and save money.

“There’s a big difference between the “H” and the “J” models,” said Master Sgt. Josh Burton, 327th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, . “The “J” is mostly computers, and almost all automated, where the legacy, or “H,” is all hands-on.”

The 913 AG still has two C-130H aircraft that are being prepared for transfer to other locations. Meanwhile, J-model training for 913th AG personnel continues here -- the only formal training school for the “J” model.

The transition to the “J” model requires maintainers, pilots, and loadmasters to complete conversion training. The formal schooling process should be completed by September 2016, but aircrews will continue to gain experience and proficiency for about another 18 months.

The 913th AG will become a “classic associate” unit, meaning it will fly and maintain aircraft owed by the active duty. Approximately 55 maintainers from the 50th Maintenance Squadron, who supported the active association, have already been moved back to the 19th Maintenance Group.

The 913th AG will be the first C-130J classic association in the Air Force.