C-130s maintain steady ops in Afghanistan

USAF: Master Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol C-130 Hercules aircraft deployed with the 774th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron are shown June 6 on the flightline at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. The 774th EAS is part of the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing at Bagram Airfield.

By Master Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol: Air Mobility Command Public Affairs

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — Every day there are airmen here supporting combat airlift missions for Operation Enduring Freedom through the use of the C-130 Hercules.

The C-130s at Bagram Airfield are deployed with the 774th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, which is part of the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing. Its Air Force fact sheet states, “Basic and specialized versions of the (C-130) perform a diverse number of roles, including airlift (and airdrop) support …and aeromedical missions.”

To do such a wide variety of missions, flexibility is important.

“Using its aft loading ramp and door, the C-130 can accommodate a wide variety of oversized cargo, including everything from utility helicopters and six-wheeled armored vehicles to standard palletized cargo and military personnel,” the fact sheet states. “In an aerial delivery role, it can airdrop loads up to 42,000 pounds or use its high-flotation landing gear to land and deliver cargo on rough, dirt strips.”

The flexible design of the C-130 also “enables it to be configured for many different missions, allowing for one aircraft to perform the role of many. Much of the special mission equipment added to the Hercules is removable, allowing the aircraft to revert back to its cargo delivery role if desired. Additionally, the C-130 can be rapidly reconfigured for the various types of cargo such as palletized equipment, floor-loaded material, airdrop platforms, Container Delivery System bundles, vehicles and personnel or aeromedical evacuation.”

From Bagram Airfield, C-130s help airlift and airdrop cargo to forward operating locations throughout the country in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.