March 22, 2017 (by SrA David Owsianka) - This flight allowed the crew to familiarize themselves with the newest C-130 model. The pilots completed approach, landing and en route procedures training; while also familiarizing themselves with the airspace.
SSgt. Christopher Hofer, 36th AS loadmaster, flips a fuel panel switch during the first Yokota C-130J Super Hercules training sortie over the skies of Japan March 20, 2017. By flipping the switch, the crew members are able to properly balance the fuel tanks. [USAF photo by SSgt. David Owsianka]
The loadmasters received hands-on training inside of the cockpit and became proficient with their new responsibilities of working as a three man crew on the J-model.
“Being in the Super Hercules has helped us get back into the mindset of flying our new aircraft to help us continue our mission here at Yokota and throughout the Pacific Region,” said Staff Sgt. Benjamin Baughman, 36th Airlift Squadron loadmaster instructor. “The new aircraft model is great because it’s bigger and faster than the H-model. Because of this we are able to carry more cargo in less time to locations throughout Japan and other countries in the region.”
The C-130J incorporates state-of-the-art technology to reduce manpower requirements, lower operation and support costs, thus providing life-cycle cost savings over earlier C-130 models.
Yokota’s C-130s will also be 15 feet longer, increasing usable space and providing the ability to rapidly transport critical supplies, personnel and equipment around the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
The Super Hercules will continue to arrive at Yokota until the base has received all 14 aircraft to replace the H-models.
“This flight was the start to an important week because all of the J crew are able to get out and fly the aircraft,” said Capt. Chase Hessman, 36 AS pilot. “We are progressing from somewhat of a crawl, walk, run phase where we begin with proficiency training to performing tactical sorties and formation flights. Once we are successfully converted to the J-model’s, the flow of missions will become more regular and we will perform missions throughout the pacific on a more consistent basis.”