Defense

October 9, 2013

MC-12W Liberty exceeds 300,000 flying hours

A fleet of MC-12W Liberty aircraft rest on the flightline during the morning of Sept. 4, 2013, at Beale Air Force Base, Calif. The MC12-W provides intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance directly to ground forces.

Beale MC-12W Liberty aircraft surpassed 300,000 combat flying hours at a forward operating base in Afghanistan in September.

The aircraft was developed in response to urgent requests from ground combat commanders for tactical ISR. The result was the fastest military acquisition since the P-51 Mustang in World War II.

The milestone translates to approximately 34 years of flying that the Liberty team achieved in less than four. Project Liberty was also credited with flying 73 percent of all Air Force Intelligence Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR) sorties and 24 percent of all Air Force combat sorties in Afghanistan for 2012.

Lt. Col. Jeffrey Allison, 489th Reconnaissance Squadron commander, attributes the success of this milestone due in large part to the aircraft’s active role in close-air support and ISR operations.

“This aircraft is vital to mission success; it’s essentially the eyes and ears of our ground forces,” said Allison. “300,000 combat hours makes quite a statement.”

The MC-12W is a medium altitude, twin-engine, turboprop aircraft loaded with state-of-the-art optical and sensor equipment. The aircraft’s primary mission is to provide ISR support directly to ground forces.

Liberty crews consist of two pilots, a sensor operator and a tactical systems operator who build the tactical picture and shape combat operations.

A U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II assigned to the 104th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, flies past an MC-12 Liberty assigned to the 4th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron, while taking off at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, June 28, 2012. The 455th Air Expeditionary Wing’s motto ‘Quaerimus et Perdimus’ (Seek and Destroy) represents its commitment to providing reconnaissance and attack capabilities to coalition ground forces in Afghanistan.

In 2012 , the MC-12 flew more than 20,016 combat sorties and was directly responsible for the kill or capture of 710 high-value individuals, including senior Taliban leaders, bomb makers and field commanders for the Afghan insurgency. This effort also led to more than 3,000 anti-Afghan forces removed from the battlefield.

“There is insatiable demand for this aircraft. In the spirit of the P-51 Mustang, Project Liberty proves that rapid acquisition, DOD, and industry can accomplish the extraordinary,” said Col. Phil Stewart, 9th Reconnaissance Wing commander. Beale Air Force Base is home to the Air Force’s MC-12 fleet.

The aircraft was also nominated for aviation’s highest award, the Collier Trophy, three of the past four years. The trophy is awarded annually, “…for the greatest achievements in aeronautics or astronautics in America, with respect to improving the performance, efficiency and safety of air or space vehicles.”

“The MC-12 is saving America’s sons and daughters in combat and ultimately protecting America from the threats of terrorism,” Stewart said. “Not enough great things can be said about this aircraft; it truly is remarkable.”




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


 
 

 

Headlines November 26, 2014

News: When Hagel leaves, new SecDef faces big questions about the military’s future - President Obama’s new pick to run the Pentagon will face a dizzying set of challenges affecting the Defense Department’s mission, budget and culture. Who will be the next Secretary of Defense?- Following the Nov. 24 surprise announcement from the White House, the...
 
 

News Briefs November 26, 2014

Navy to decommission two more ships in Puget Sound The Navy recently decommissioned the guided missile frigate USS Ingraham at Everett, Wash. It will be towed to Bremerton and scrapped. The Daily Herald reports the Navy also plans to decommission another ship at the Everett homeport and also one stationed in Bremerton. Naval Station Everett...
 
 

NASA airborne campaigns tackle climate questions from Africa to Arctic

NASA photograph The DC-8 airborne laboratory is one of several NASA aircraft that will fly in support of five new investigations into how different aspects of the interconnected Earth system influence climate change. NASA photograph The DC-8 airborne laboratory is one of several NASA aircraft that will fly in support of five new investigations into...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend

16T Pitch Boom reactivated to support wind tunnel tests

Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend The Pitch Boom at the AEDC 16-foot transonic wind tunnel (16T) was recently reactivated. This model support system is used in conjunction with a roll mechanism to provide a combined pitch...
 
 

Northrop Grumman supports U.S. Air Force Minuteman missile test launch

Northrop Grumman recently supported the successful flight testing of the U.S. Air Force’s Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile weapon system. The operational flight test was conducted as part of the Air Force Global Strike Command’s Force Development Evaluation Program. This program demonstrates and supports assessment of the accuracy, availability and reliability of the...
 
 
army-detector

Scientists turn handheld JCAD into a dual-use chemical, explosives detector

Scientists at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., proved it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks by adding the ability to detect explosive materials to the Joint Chemical Age...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>