The RAAF’s 37SQN will hold a farewell bash for the C-130H Hercules as the airlifter goes into retirement after 34 years of Australian service.
A reunion for past and present members of the C-130H community will be held at RAAF Base Richmond on November 24, just ahead of the aircraft’s retirement in December.
“This is our last opportunity to acknowledge the hard work and great memories that this aircraft has given us,” said FLTLT Glen Nelson, an organiser of the reunion. “We’re seeking out everybody who has worked on the C-130h, from the original crews to those who’ll support its final day in service.”
More information on the reunion can be found at www.hfarewell.com.
The C-130H entered RAAF service in 1978, replace the C-130A. In the years since, they have supported Australian deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, flown to Antarctica, evacuated Australians from Cambodia, and taken part in many humanitarian and disaster relief missions.
“The C-130H introduced many of the tactical airlift roles which the wider Australian Defence Force now count on,” FLTLT Nelson said.
Defence announced plans to move up retirement of its final eight C-130H aircraft as part of cost-cutting efforts under this year’s budget, but in turn Australia has also ordered smaller C-27J tactical airlifters, which will take over some of the roles that had been performed by the C-130H.
Australia earlier this year donated four C-130H aircraft to Indonesia and is talks to sell Indonesia six more of the planes for a reported US$15 million each.
37SQN will continue to operate its 12 C-130J-30 Hercules.