Goodbye, Old Friend

Goodbye, Old Friend: Members of the 79th Rescue Squadron at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., executed the unit’s final mission in the HC-130P personnel recovery airplane. The squadron is transitioning to the new, more capable HC-130J model and expects to commence operations with it in October, according to a base release. The final HC-130P sortie came on Sept. 12 as a crew took the aircraft out for roughly seven hours, states the release. Upon landing, squadron colleagues and family members greeted the crew on the flightline to mark the occasion. Lt. Col. Christopher McCarthy, a 563rd Rescue Group instructor pilot, who was the aircraft commander on the sortie, said he thinks the C-130J will be “an amazing technological advancement” over the nearly 50-year-old HC-130P. He noted, “It will make our job easier and make us much more efficient as rescue pilots.” (Davis-Monthan report by A1C Saphfire Cook)