On Saturday, December 7 the Delaware Air National Guard will celebrate reaching 175,000 accident-free flying hours after two of the unit's eight C-130H transport aircraft take off in the morning and complete a scheduled three-hour training mission.
This milestone covers a 50-year period, beginning in 1963, when the unit has not experienced a Class A, B or C flying mishap.
In general, the Air Force defines a Class A mishap as any accident in which there's a fatality, permanent disabling injury, destruction of an Air Force aircraft or property damage of $2 million or more. A Class B mishap is defined as any accident in which there's a disabling injury or when three or more personnel are hospitalized, or resulting damages of $500,000 or more, but less than $2 million. A Class C mishap is defined as any accident in which there's a nonfatal injury or illness that results in one or more days away from work and resulting damages of $50,000 or more, but less than $500,000.
During these five decades the unit has operated three models of transport aircraft - the C-97, the C-130A, and today the C-130H model.
During the last 28 years while operating C-130H aircraft, the Delaware ANG has performed nearly 22 continuous years of flying in Southwest Asia, to include combat flying in Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Northern Watch, Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn.
Colonel Mike Feeley
, commander of the 166th Airlift Wing, said, "We have good reason to be proud of this milestone, and it is evidence of the hard work, skill and commitment of our Airmen while performing ground and air operations. We celebrate the high standard of safety exhibited both by our maintainers who keep our aircraft mission ready, and by our flight crews whose airmanship skills keep us safe in the sky. This milestone provides evidence that we remain ready, reliable and relevant to our state and nation."
Many citizens of Delaware and nearby states have witnessed Delaware Air Guard operations since the unit's founding in 1946, from the end of World War II through intervening periods of wartime, peacetime and humanitarian disasters. The last 11 years have included the participation of hundreds of Delaware Airmen in overseas contingency operations from the start through the end of recent U.S. combat operations in Iraq, and from the start of the Afghanistan mission in 2001 through the current drawdown.
Previous accident-free flying milestones at 10,000 hour increments, starting at 100,000 hours, by year:
170,000 hours - 2011 (Jan. 20, 2011)
160,000 hours - 2007
150,000 hours - 2004
140,000 hours - 2001
130,000 hours - 1998
120,000 hours - 1995
110,000 hours - 1992
100,000 hours - 1990
Note to editors: Several high-resolution photos of unit C-130 aircraft are available for download on http://www.166aw.ang.af.mil/photos/mediagallery.asp, the public website of the 166th Airlift Wing, Delaware Air National Guard; type "C-130" in the search box to locate various images.
The Delaware ANG has 1,100 members, and continually deploys personnel and subordinate units around the globe. This release is in the public domain, and any part may be used as written.
Delaware Air National Guard: Celebrating 67 years of Citizen-Airman service to our state and nation, 1946-2013
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