WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – An HC-130J crew with the 88th Test and Evaluation Squadron out of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, recently flew into Wright-Patterson AFB to meet with and allow members of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s HC/MC Program Office to tour the aircraft.
The program office leads the life cycle management of the Air Force’s HC/MC-130J fleet, including sustainment and all modifications, and the visit allowed members of the program office team to engage with the crew and see up close the aircraft they support.
“So many times the personnel that work here in the program offices don’t get to see the product that they are developing,” said Col. Joel Luker, senior materiel leader for the Special Operations and Personnel Recovery Division, which oversees the HC/MC-130J Program Office. “This visit gave them firsthand experience with the system they are developing, along with additional insight into the issues that maintainers and the crew have to deal with.”
HC/MC-130Js are versatile aircraft and are primarily used for special operations, refueling and personnel recovery, with HC’s being operated by Air Combat Command and Air Force Special Operations Command operating the MC variant.
The HC/MC Program Office of approximately 110 employees works closely with both commands to deliver new aircraft off the production line, stand up operational units to receive and bed down those new aircraft, and then oversee the modification and sustainment of those aircraft over time.
“The visit by the 88th Test and Evaluation Squadron was fantastic,” said Lt. Col. Marti Barker, Material Leader in change of the HC/MC-130J Program Office. “These platforms are used in many different ways, both military as well as humanitarian – including hurricane relief efforts last year – and it was gratifying to see the product we support up close.”
The crew from the 88th TES, expressed appreciation for the support AFLCMC provides.
“The System Program Office at Wright-Patt oversees the selection and engineering processes for acquiring and installing equipment on the HC-130J, and these specialized modifications are what enables the aircraft to perform combat search and rescue,” said Capt. Peter Arnold, 88th TES, HC-130J pilot. “This trip was a valuable opportunity to meet some of the program managers and personnel responsible for developing the modifications, and talk to them one-on-one. Additionally, it was an opportunity to expose the [program] office to the working environment of an HC-130J and highlight its vast mission set.”