Monday, November 6, 2017

Flying Jennies ready again

C-130J over Keesler Nov. 3
U.S. Air Force photo by Shelton Sherrill
KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. – The 815th Airlift Squadron on Friday completed its quest to reach full operational capability, four years after the squadron’s future was uncertain. The squadron and its C-130J Flying Jennies are again ready to deploy and provide combat-ready airmen for airlift mission, said Lt. Col. Stuart Rubio, 815th AS commander. As part of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013, the Air Force announced plans to transfer 10 of the Air Force Reserve 403rd Wing's C-130J aircraft. But two years later the Secretary of the Air Force reversed that recommendation, beginning the programming and budgeting work to restore personnel and mission capability at Keesler. The squadron trains weekly for this mission, and in honor of the squadron reaching FOC status they did just that Friday and flew a three-ship formation. During the low-level tactical flight, they practiced airdrops, flew with night vision goggles and performed other tasks to prepare for missions in a deployed location, said Rubio. (Source: 403rd Wing Public Affairs, 11/05/17) The initial plan was to deactivate the 815th and move the aircraft to North Carolina, then later the relocation site was Arkansas. Previous: Keesler to lose planes, squadron; Move of Keesler C-130Js delayed; 815th remains at Keesler for now.