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Delaware Air National Guard Airmen and aircraft fleet surpass milestone of 170,000 safe flying hours

Release Number: 040211

Air Force Special Operations Command combat controllers give a C-130 Hercules take off clearance and provide air traffic control during a mission to establish and assess an airfield March 15 at a forward deployed location in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jeremy T. Lock)

Air Force Special Operations Command combat controllers give a C-130 Hercules take off clearance and provide air traffic control during a mission to establish and assess an airfield March 15, 2003 at a forward deployed location in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jeremy T. Lock)

Airman 1st Class Kelliea Guthrie (left) and Senior Airman Greg Ellis provide security April 23 for a C-130 Hercules aircraft during a cargo mission at Feyzabab Airfield in Afghanistan. Both Airmen are part of the fly-away security forces team assigned to the 455th Expeditionary Security Forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Andy Dunaway)

Airman 1st Class Kelliea Guthrie (left) and Senior Airman Greg Ellis provide security April 23, 2008 for a Delaware Air National Guard C-130 Hercules aircraft during a cargo mission at Feyzabab Airfield in Afghanistan. Both Airmen are part of the fly-away security forces team assigned to the 455th Expeditionary Security Forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Andy Dunaway)

Servicemembers en route to Iraq prepare to board a C-130 Hercules Nov. 30 at an air base in Southwest Asia.  The C-130 is capable of operating from rough, dirt strips and is the prime transport for air dropping troops and equipment into hostile areas.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Tia Schroeder)

Servicemembers en route to Iraq prepare to board a C-130 Hercules Nov. 30, 2007 at an air base in Southwest Asia. The C-130 is capable of operating from rough, dirt strips and is the prime transport for air dropping troops and equipment into hostile areas. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Tia Schroeder)

OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM -- Master Sgts. Tom Rutt (foreground) and Scott Nybakken work in unison ensuring a C-130 Hercules is ready for an airlift mission to Iraq.  Rutt is a flight engineer and Nybakken is a crew chief.  Both airmen are assigned to the Delaware Air National Guard's 166th Airlift Wing.  Airmen endure temperatures of at least 115 degrees daily on the flightline at their forward-deployed location in Southwest Asia.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Terry L. Blevins)

OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM -- Master Sgts. Tom Rutt (foreground) and Scott Nybakken work in unison ensuring a C-130 Hercules is ready for an airlift mission to Iraq on July 8, 2003. Rutt is a flight engineer and Nybakken is a crew chief. Both airmen are assigned to the Delaware Air National Guard's 166th Airlift Wing. Airmen endure temperatures of at least 115 degrees daily on the flightline at their forward-deployed location in Southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Terry L. Blevins)

OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM -- Tech. Sgt. Brian Hardy reviews a job guide before removing and installing an aircraft nose radome on a C-130 Hercules.  The old one was damaged by lightning.  Hardy is a crew chief with the Delaware Air National Guard's 166th Airlift Wing.  Airmen endure temperatures of at least 115 degrees daily on the flightline at their forward-deployed location in Southwest Asia.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Terry L. Blevins)

OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM -- Tech. Sgt. Brian Hardy reviews a job guide before removing and installing an aircraft nose radome on a C-130 Hercules on July 8, 2003. The old one was damaged by lightning. Hardy is a crew chief with the Delaware Air National Guard's 166th Airlift Wing. Airmen endure temperatures of at least 115 degrees daily on the flightline at their forward-deployed location in Southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Terry L. Blevins)

KARSHI-KHANABAD AIR BASE, Uzbekistan -- Tech. Sgt. Brian Whitt works on a C-130 Hercules engine as he and other maintainers prepare to do a propeller change here April 16.  He is a C-130 engine mechanic with the 774th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron and is deployed from the Delaware Air National Guard at New Castle.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol)

KARSHI-KHANABAD AIR BASE, Uzbekistan -- Tech. Sgt. Brian Whitt works on a C-130 Hercules engine as he and other maintainers prepare to do a propeller change here April 16, 2005 He is a C-130 engine mechanic with the 774th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron and is deployed from the Delaware Air National Guard at New Castle. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol)

Staff Sgt. Alonzo Perry installs safety wire on an APN-59 radar transmitter and receiver-set in the nose of a C-130 Hercules Aug 28 at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.  Sergeant Perry is a communication and navigation system specialist from the 166th Airlift Wing, Delaware Air National Guard.  He is deployed to the 455th Expeditionary Maintenance Group at Bagram in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  The radar antenna needed to be replaced and the safety wire prevents the fasteners from vibrating loose during flight.  (US Air Force photo/Maj. David Kurle)

Staff Sgt. Alonzo Perry installs safety wire on an APN-59 radar transmitter and receiver-set in the nose of a C-130 Hercules Aug 28, 2006 at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. Sergeant Perry is a communication and navigation system specialist from the 166th Airlift Wing, Delaware Air National Guard. He is deployed to the 455th Expeditionary Maintenance Group at Bagram in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The radar antenna needed to be replaced and the safety wire prevents the fasteners from vibrating loose during flight. (US Air Force photo/Maj. David Kurle)

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan -- Staff Sgt. Mark Reedy, a crew chief from the 455th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, communicates with the C-130 pilot before takeoff here, Oct. 18, 2009.  The C-130 Hercules primarily performs tactical airlift missions such as transport for air dropping troops and equipment into hostile areas.  Sergeant Reedy is deployed from The Delaware Air National Guard's 166th Airlift Wing and hails from Rehoboth Beach, Del.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Felicia Juenke)

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan -- Staff Sgt. Mark Reedy, a crew chief from the 455th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, communicates with the C-130 pilot before takeoff here, Oct. 18, 2009. The C-130 Hercules primarily performs tactical airlift missions such as transport for air dropping troops and equipment into hostile areas. Sergeant Reedy is deployed from The Delaware Air National Guard's 166th Airlift Wing and hails from Rehoboth Beach, Del. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Felicia Juenke)


On January 20 of this year the Delaware Air National Guard reached another flying milestone when the unit surpassed 170,000 accident-free flying hours without a Class A, B or C flying mishap since 1963.

The milestone covers the 47-year period when the unit has flown three models of aircraft - the C-97, the C-130A, and today the C-130H model transport aircraft, and has performed nearly 20 continuous years of flying in Southwest Asia with significant periods of combat flying in Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Northern Watch, Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn.

The 166th Airlift Wing has eight C-130 transport aircraft flying from home station in New Castle. Six of those aircraft with over 200 unit Airmen will depart Delaware the first half of March for a combat deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Colonel Jonathan H. Groff, commander of the 166th Airlift Wing, said, "Achieving this notable flying milestone is a tribute to the inspired work of hundreds and hundreds of unit Airmen who keep our aircraft well maintained, combined with aircrew who expertly navigate and fly our aircraft. For over five decades our people have successfully carried forward the attitude towards safety so profoundly believed in and expertly communicated by retired Brig. Gen. William W. Spruance, our top leader from a half century ago who passed away last month.

"We've been extremely busy completing a number of inspections this winter and now preparing for an upcoming large deployment to Afghanistan. For several months Delaware citizens from New Castle south to Middletown have witnessed a lot of daytime and evening flying from our C-130 aircraft as our aircrews complete mandatory proficiency training. This training is essential before we enter the combat zone in March when six of our aircraft will be on duty over the skies of Afghanistan."

Previous accident-free flying milestones at 10,000 hour increments, starting at 100,000 hours, by year:

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 65 years of Citizen-Airman service to our state and nation, 1946-2011.

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