BATTLE CREEK, Mich., Oct. 6, 2020 —
A C-130 Hercules aircraft used as a static trainer for airmen since the early 1980s finally met its end as part of a Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services scrap contract at Massachusetts’ Hanscom Air Force Base in September.
According to the Air Force, the nearly 100-foot-long behemoth had been repurposed decades ago for use by the base fire department during exercises and for cargo loading and offload training by the 57th and 85th Aerial Port Squadrons. The aircraft was left behind when the 85th APS deactivated in 2009 and had not been used since.
DLA Disposition Services’ Public Sales Division Chief Carlos Torres said the dismantling of the airframe locally known as “Hulk” was part of the agency’s regional Demilitarization as Condition of Sale contract. Contracts that require demilitarization as a condition of sale involve rendering the items sold, such as an airframe, unusable before the purchasing firm can use or sell residue as scrap. The execution and oversight for the removal were provided by members of DLA Disposition Services’ North-East region team.
Bill Perkins, the 66th Logistics Readiness Squadron Material Management and Fuels flight chief, called it “a bit of a sad ending for a war bird like that one.”
The U.S. military began using Hercules aircraft in 1956, and some of the more than 2,500 produced remain in service today. At nearly 40 feet tall, with a roughly 130-foot wingspan, the Hercules weighs some 75,000 pounds empty and can handle 21 tons of cargo such as two personnel carriers or three Humvees and airborne troops. Having access to one for training would have allowed airmen to stay sharp on the nearly limitless types of loads that could fit into the aircraft’s hinged rear fuselage door.
“It’s been nothing more than a relic on base for the last 10 years,” Perkins said. “It was time.”
Editor’s note: Some information and quotes in this story were derived from a news release by 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs writer Lauren Russell.