The last MC-130E Combat Talon I to enter programmed depot maintenance before the MC-130 fleet is retired has nearly finished its final refit, according to officials at Robins AFB, Ga., home of the depot. Tail No. 62-1843—the oldest Combat Talon I still in service—was in “pretty bad shape upon arrival,” noted Kevin Johnson, 560th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron MC-130 line supervisor. “There is generally a good bit of work for everyone involved—structural and avionics-wise,” added George Hoffman, 560th AMXS PDM flight chief. Consistently deployed, often supporting clandestine operations in austere conditions, the Combat Talons “have a lot of cracks and corrosion,” said Hoffman. Robins took PDM responsibility for Air Force Special Operations Command’s fleet of 14 MC-130Es from the Big Safari program office in the 1990s. The first MC-130E arrived at Robins for PDM in 1998, according to base officials. Aircraft 1843 is expected to leave the depot in early April, they said. New MC-130Js are replacing the MC-130Es. (Robins report by Jenny Gordon)
Changes are coming this year for Airmen taking professional military education (PME) distance learning courses. Closer interactions with facilitators, a revised capstone course, and more feedback on test performance are meant to improve the overall experience for distance learning students, who often include members of the Air National Guard.