March 2, 2015 (by Asif Shamim) - The United State Embassy in Addis Ababa has confirmed that a C-130E (#62-1858) has been gifted to the Ethiopian government to aid in the support of AU and UN peacekeeping operations.
Former USAF C-130E #62-1858 from 198 AS now part of the Ethiopian fleet
The aircraft, formally operated by the 198th Airlift Squadron of the Puerto Rico Air National Guard was taken out of storage from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, in September, 2013 and refurbished. The airframe having flown more than 22,700 flight hours.
The C-130 is believed to have joined 15 Squadron at the Ethiopian airbase in Bishoftu Town after being flown to Ethiopia, via Canada and the United Kingdom sometime in June 2014.
A statement from the US embassy in Addis Ababa said the donation came with full training support for Ethiopian pilots, technicians and engineers with specially focused programmes on navigation and maintenance processes. An embassy spokesperson said there are no existing plans to provide any additional aircraft.
The US government had previously donated two C-130B’s to the Ethiopian Air Force back in 1998 and the Air Force later gained two commercial L100-30’s operated by the Ethiopian government to supplement the fleet. According to some unconfirmed sources one of which has now crashed after an accident.