Delaware Air National Guard reaches 165,000 hour accident-free military flying milestone

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Contact: Tech. Sgt. Benjamin Matwey
Public Affairs Specialist, 166th Airlift Wing
Cell 302-593-2126, or office 302-323-3369
Release No. 2009-02-003
February 27, 2009


NEW CASTLE, Delaware - The Delaware Air National Guard's 166th Airlift Wing recently reached a safety milestone this winter when the unit surpassed 165,000 hours of accident-free flying on February 4 without a Class A, B or C flying mishap since 1963.

The accident-free flying period covers a 46-year period when the unit has flown three models of aircraft - the C-97, the C-130A, and now the C-130H model transport aircraft. This period also covers the last 19 years of flying in Southwest Asia with significant periods of combat flying in Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Northern Watch, Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. The time includes airlift and aeromedical support for humanitarian missions overseas and at home, including numerous hurricane relief missions on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

166th Airlift Wing Commander Colonel Jonathan Groff said, "This accident-free flying milestone is a tribute to the dedication and hard work of our aircraft maintainers and operators. Hundreds of people contribute to the safety attitude of this organization every day, carrying out our flying mission successfully and safely while performing our state and federal missions. This milestone is a positive result of the outstanding efforts and safety awareness of all current and previous military personnel and commanders of the Delaware National Guard."

The 166th Airlift Wing has eight C-130 aircraft flying from home station. Unit Airmen and aircraft are scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan in the fall of 2009. The Delaware ANG has about 1,100 members, and continually deploys personnel and subordinate units around the globe.

Previous accident-free flying milestones at 10,000 hour increments, 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

News media: Captioned, high-resolution stock photos of unit C-130 aircraft and personnel from home station and overseas are available for download at

This release is in the public domain, and any part may be used as written.

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