March 18, 2013 (by Ann Skarban) - As a result of the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act Intra-theater Airlift Working Group's recommendations, Colorado's 302nd Airlift Wing is slated gain an additional C-130 Hercules aircraft in FY 2014.
Six Air Force Reserve C-130 Hercules roll down the taxiway on June 5, 2010 at Peterson AFB. After performing practice air drops over eastern Colorado, each of the aircraft joined together for a multi-ship formation training flight. [USAF photo by MSgt. Daniel Butterfield]
This additional backup aircraft, which was added to enhance mission effectiveness, will bring the total number of aircraft assigned to the Air Force Reserve airlift unit from 12 to 13. With the addition of a 13th C-130, this will make the Colorado Reserve wing one of the largest unit-equipped C-130 wings within the Air Force Reserve Command.
While this additional C-130 is classified as a backup aircraft and will not increase manning or funding for the Peterson tenant wing, it will provide an additional resource for the wing's operational missions which include airlift and airdrop, active associate and Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System missions.
"An additional C-130 will add depth to our current aircraft inventory and will be beneficial especially when the wing is supporting concurrent taskings such as MAFFS, overseas deployments and training requirements," said Col. Jay Pittman, 302nd AW commander.
Details on the backup C-130 are not currently available. However, it is known that the additional aircraft is not newly-acquired by the U.S. Air Force and it will be an aircraft that was scheduled to reitre in either 2013 or 2014.
"The task of the IAWG was to provide the secretary of the Air Force with recommendations for the locations, numbers, primary or backup status and duration of the aircraft we retained," said Col. James Jacobson, the chairman of the Intratheater Airlift Working Group.
The 302nd AW is Colorado's only Air Force Reserve flying unit and is based at Peterson Air Force Base. Approximately 1,300 Reservists are assigned, and about 200 of the 1,300 are full-time employees as dual military/civilian status Air Reserve Technicians. In addition, approximately 200 active duty members assigned to the 52nd Airlift Squadron are associated with the wing.
The 302nd AW is one of nine C-130 Air Force Reserve units with an airdrop and airlift mission in the nation and the only Air Force Reserve wing with the MAFFS mission.