Defense

April 22, 2013

Air Force Combat Talons fly for last time

Tags:
TSgt. Samuel King Jr.
Duke Field, Fla.

Aircrew from the 919th Special Operations Wing admire their aircraft, the MC-130E Combat Talon I, in flight one last time April 15, 2013, during its final flight before retirement. The last five Talons in the Air Force belong to the 919th SOW and are scheduled to be retired at a ceremony April 25. They will make one final flight to the ìboneyardî at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., by the end of the fiscal year.

The Air Force’s last four MC-130E Combat Talon I’s spread their wings for a final mission from their home at Duke Field, Fla., April 15.

The Talons will be officially retired in a ceremony at Duke Field on April 25 and the aircraft will then be flown to the “boneyard” at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.,. April 25th commemorates the 33rd anniversary of the Desert One mission to free the Iranian Hostages – several of the MC-130E’s at Duke Field took part in that mission.

“This is an emotional and historic day for the Airmen of the 919th Special Operations Wing,” said Col. Andy Comtois, 919th SOW commander. “Since our inception, the 919th SOW has primarily been a C-130 wing and, for almost 20 years, a Combat Talon wing. We will miss these great warbirds.”

The four Talons took off as two 2-ships carrying more than 40 of the Wing’s Airmen who had a long association with the Talon I’s and wanted to be a part of the historic final flight.

“I was glad we were allowed to be a part of it,” said Tech. Sgt. Lora Huett, of the 919th Force Support Squadron. “The best part was when they opened up the ramp and took people back to sit on it. It was a beautiful view.”

CMSgt. Tom Mason, the 919th Special Operations Wing command chief, enjoys his final ride back to base as an MC-130E Combat Talon I loadmaster after completing his and the aircraftís last sortie. The last five Talons in the Air Force belong to the 919th SOW and are scheduled to be retired at a ceremony April 25. They will make one final flight to the ìboneyardî at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., by the end of the fiscal year.

CMSgt. Tom Mason, the wing’s new command chief, flew his last mission as a loadmaster on Aircraft 64-551. The chief transitioned to the loadmaster career field when the Talons arrived at Duke in 1995.

“I’ve had many great missions over the years both at home and in war,” said Mason. “I don’t know that I could have planned a more honorable way to end my career as an enlisted aviator than with the last flight of the mighty Combat Talons.”

The final flight and the upcoming retirement of the Talons are large steps in the continuing transition to the new Aviation Foreign Internal Defense mission for Air Force Special Operations Command. More than five of the wing’s new aircraft, the C-145A, already populate the Duke flightline.

“As our future mission emerges, we must say goodbye to the past,” said Comtois. “The sun has set on the Talon mission. The 919th looks forward to a new aircraft and a new mission. Our Citizen Air Commandos are more than ready and capable to take on this new challenge.”

The MC-130E made its first Air Force flight in 1966 and has taken part in every major U.S. conflict since. The Talon’s primary mission was to provide infiltration, exfiltration, and resupply of special operations forces and equipment in hostile or denied territory.

Secondary missions include psychological operations and helicopter and vertical lift air refueling.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines July 27, 2015

News: U.S.-Turkey deal aims to create de facto ‘safe zone’ in northwest Syria – Turkey and the United States have agreed on the outlines of a de facto “safe zone” along the Turkey-Syria border under the terms of a deal that is expected to significantly increase the scope and pace of the U.S.-led air war against...
 
 

News Briefs July 27, 2015

Putin OKs maritime code calling for strong Atlantic presence Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved a new version of the country’s maritime doctrine that calls for maintaining a strong Russian presence in the Atlantic Ocean amid concerns about NATO expansion. The doctrine, which covers naval, merchant marine and scientific maritime issues, also adds the Antarctic...
 
 
Army photograph by SFC Walter E. van Ochten

U.S., Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria train together at Rapid Trident 2015

Army photograph by SFC Walter E. van Ochten U.S. soldiers, of the 3rd Platoon, 615th Military Police Company, 709th Military Police Battalion, react as they conduct reacting to contact training as part of their situational trai...
 

 
nasa-astronaut

Astronaut Stephen Frick retires from NASA

Astronaut Stephen Frick has retired from NASA to accept a position in the private sector. Frick, who flew as both a shuttle pilot and commander, left the Agency July 13. Steve has been a great asset to the astronaut office and ...
 
 
Army photograph by Sgt. Juana M. Nesbitt

Estonian, US forces receive new jump wings

Army photograph by Sgt. Juana M. Nesbitt Pvt. Kalmer Simohov, of Parnu, a volunteer with the Estonian Defense League, receives his U.S. Army Airborne wings following the joint airborne operations exercise at a drop zone in Nurm...
 
 

Lockheed Martin, StemRad studying first-responder radiation shield for potential deep-space application

StemRad, Ltd. and Lockheed Martin have initiated a joint research and development effort to determine if StemRad’s radiation shielding technology ñ originally designed for first-responders ñ could help to keep astronauts safe on deep-space exploration missions. This collaboration is part of Lockheed Martin’s ongoing effort to establish international partnerships for human explorat...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>