C-130 Mission Comes Back to Mansfield

The Ohio Air National Guard’s 179th Airlift Wing in Mansfield will gain eight C-130H transports in place of the four C-27Js it is losing as part of Air Force-wide force structure changes, announced unit officials. The wing is scheduled to receive its first C-130H by September—the timeframe by which its C-27s are expected to be gone—and have all eight C-130s in place by June 2016, according to Mansfield’s March 28 release. As part of taking on the C-130s, the wing also will grow in size to 830 personnel from the current level of 650, states the release. Officials have not yet finalized the timeline for the personnel changes, or determined the breakdown of full-time and traditional Air Guard positions. The 179th AW flew C-130s for decades prior to 2010, but then subsequently became the first unit to transition to C-27s. The wing deployed to Afghanistan with two of its C-27s in August 2011 for 10 months. The Air Force is divesting the C-27 fleet. (Columbus report by Capt. Nicole Ashcroft) (See also Spartanless.)