The Air Power’s Ultimate MC-130H Heads to the Boneyard

The Talon has formally been retracted. 

The Air Power’s last MC-130H Fight Talon II, Tail Quantity 89-0280, made its final flight April 2, taking off from Hurlburt Area, Fla., with a crew together with members of the fifteenth Particular Operations Squadron and led by AFSOC commander Lt. Gen. Tony D. Bauernfeind, a long-time MC-130H pilot. 

The Fight Talon II, a variant of the C-130H, was a stalwart particular operations tanker and mobility plane used extensively for infiltration, exfiltration, and covert resupply for missions in hostile and denied territory from the early Nineties till now. 

“I’ve spent a majority of my profession being round this superb airplane, its maintainers and operational help employees,” Bauernfeind mentioned in a launch from the first Particular Operations Wing. “I felt that it ought to be despatched off proper, realizing full effectively that we’re capturing its heritage.” 

Households, associates, and former MC-130H crew joined within the ceremony at Hurlburt, reflecting on the unofficial “Talon Normal” motto they mentioned outlined the Airmen who flew the 24 Fight Talon II plane.

“The ‘Talon Normal’ means holding your self and your crew to the best commonplace,” Lt. Col. Andrew Fisher, an MC-130H pilot assigned to the fifth Particular Operations Squadron, mentioned within the launch. That storied historical past included the 1997 Mackay Trophy, which went to a Fight Talon II crew for rescuing 56 folks within the Republic of the Congo within the midst of a civil conflict, and operations in Afghanistan and Iraq throughout operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, Inherent Resolve, and Resolute Help. Different missions included humanitarian operations in Japan, Haiti, and Nepal. 

Changing the MC-130Hs are newer MC-130J Commando II plane, that may refuel rotary plane from wing-mounted exterior gas tanks and drogue refueling pods. The MC-130J already changed all of the MC-130P Fight Shadows, the final one in 2015. Up to now, 56 of 64 deliberate MC-130Js have been delivered to operational models, an AFSOC spokeswoman instructed Air & Area Forces Journal. The ultimate MC-130J supply is anticipated in fiscal 2025. 

After three a long time of service, the MC-130H fleet was starting to interrupt down. AFSOC held a security stand-down final yr after cracked propeller components have been discovered on some C-130Hs, an issue probably brought on by maintainers etching serial numbers onto the propellers after inspections. The AFSOC spokeswoman mentioned your complete fleet was inspected. Waivers have been granted to fly the plane one-way to the Boneyard at Davis-Montham Air Power Base, Ariz., the place they are going to be set to relaxation within the dry desert air.  

The final flight of the Fight Talon II brings to a few the variety of small fleets not too long ago retired from service. The MC-130Hs be a part of the RC-26 Apartment reconnaissance plane, used for each counterdrug and homeland safety missions, and the C-145 Fight Coyote short-takeoff-and-landing plane as taking their final flights previously 5 months. The RC-26 Condos started winding down operations in late 2022, as did the C-145 Fight Coyotes.