January 20, 2017 (by Bradley J. Clark) - The 908th Airlift Wing transferred the heritage of aircraft #85-0042 known as 'Roll Tide' to aircraft number #89-1188 on January 20th.
Big Al, the University of Alabama mascot, poses with the 908th AW's C-130H #89-1188 following a brief ceremony on January 20th at Maxwell AFB. During the ceremony the Roll Tide heritage was transferred from aircraft #85-0042 to this newer C-130 Hercules. Aircraft 42 will depart soon for the Boneyard at Davis-Monthan AFB, in Tucson, Ariz. [USAF photo]
The transfer was completed by the University of Alabama mascot, Big Al, and Col. Don Richey commander of the 908th Operations Group
The transfer marks the departure and retirement of aircraft 42 after having flown more than 12,000 hours in the 31 years since it arrived at Maxwell. It has deployed in support of most/all of the named contingencies in the Middle East and Africa since then. It has also supported humanitarian and relief operations, following hurricanes and floods at home and abroad.
During the ceremony, Big Al carried a University of Alabama flag from 42 to 1188 to symbolically moving the “Roll Tide” name and legacy to the newer aircraft.
There was also a special message from Stuart R. Bell, the President of the University of Alabama, to wing members which said, “Thank you for your service, for your dedication and for your professionalism. The entire Crimson Tide family is grateful for all that you do for Alabama and our nation.”
His message continued with, “It has been our tremendous privilege knowing the 908th has honored The University of Alabama with the distinction of naming one of your C-130 Hercules aircraft the ‘Roll Tide.’ While it is sad to learn the current aircraft will be retired next week, we are thrilled to participate in this ceremony to transfer the ‘Roll Tide’ heritage to this new member of your fleet.
The 908th is very proud of its community ties and takes great honor in being the only reserve unit in the state, it means a lot to the wing to have those same feelings reciprocated.
“As you know, The University of Alabama is where legends are made,” said Bell. “We know the 908th Airlift Wing is where heroes are cultivated, leaders are developed … and legends are flown. We are extremely proud to help transfer the ‘Roll Tide’ legacy to aircraft 89-1188 today, and we again thank you for this great honor. ROLL TIDE!”
After the ceremony, Big Al posed for pictures with members of the 908th sharing their Crimson Tide pride.