BATTLE CREEK, Mich. –
Once an aircraft’s flying days are over it might seem likely that aircraft no longer serves a purpose but Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services team on Ft. Stewart, Georgia, has found a way to make use of a flightless aircraft while improving the effectiveness of a Marine Corps unit.
Tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel training is an essential skill as it gives Marines the ability to recover isolated personnel and return them back home safely. Personnel receive training on recovering service members in the unfortunate event that an aircraft is forced to crash land.
“There have been a couple of accidents involving C-130s in the past several years,” explained James O’Brien an aviation requirements and systems manager. “Normally the Marine Corps is limited to helicopters and small aircraft, so this was an opportunity to do some training on a larger platform.”
While TRAP training takes place regularly, and on multiple platforms, the most common types are CH-53s and MV-22 Ospreys. For the Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron in Yuma, Arizona this opportunity was too good to pass up. It was not a simple endeavor as the C-130 fuselage would need transporting across the country from its longtime home in Georgia.
“It has been sitting in the same place for several years,” O’Brien said. “They were going to scrap the fuselage and that would have been a total loss to the government. Instead, there was a need shown for making use of the C-130.”
This is a historical moment for Marine Corps Air Station Yuma as it will be the first C-130 training fuselage. Once on station, the fuselage will undergo a thorough cleaning and begin its days as a training tool for ACSR personnel in support of Marine Corps Aviation.