19 AW pioneers new C-130 Hot-Integrated Combat Turn capabilities

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Dana J. Cable
  • 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 19th Airlift Wing demonstrated their newly developed concept of operations for C-130 Hot-Integrated Combat Turns, March 27, 2023, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas.

A C-130 Hot-Integrated Combat Turn focuses on a minimum turnaround of aircraft and recovery launch times through simultaneous fueling and loading/unloading of cargo, aircraft reconfiguration and other servicing with all engines running.

This is just one of the ways the 19 AW continues to close gaps, increase operational tempo, and expand Specialized Fueling Operations capabilities to deliver logistics under attack. 

In February, the 19th Logistics Readiness Squadron spearheaded the Little Rock Air Force Base Hot-Refueling survey and airfield certification, which was a first for LRAFB.

“Right after the new year, we heard Col. Ochoa’s order loud and clear and got after it,” said Maj. Thomas O’Neal 19th LRS operations officer. “We quickly but safely got our airfield certified which required many site surveys and working closely with the environmental and safety offices to ensure everyone understood our plan. We took all the necessary steps to make sure that if there was an emergency or a fuel spill that we would have the resources available to mitigate that—and within a month and a half we had the site certified for hot-refueling.”

After the site certification, the 19th LRS Fuels Management Flight created a three-phase training program laying the foundation for aircrew to train locally and at a higher operations tempo.

Phase 1 of training consists of classroom instruction with a written test; Phase 2 brings maintenance, operations and LRS crews together to conduct ground training and engine-off dry-runs of hot-refueling operations; Phase 3 culminates in Airmen conducting a live, engines running, hot-refueling demonstration, and if performed with a certain level of competency Airmen are then certified for a year.

“I'm extremely proud of the Black Knights for embracing this initiative and moving out with a sense of urgency so that we can provide this capability not only to our own crews, but to crews in future iterations of Green Flag Little Rock,” said Col. Angela Ochoa, 19th AW commander.

Now with the ability to perform hot-refueling on the installation, and in line with AMC’s intent, Black Knights continue to lean forward in closing the gaps that address logistics under attack by working on training personnel in C-130 Hot-Integrated Combat Turns.

The execution of concurrent servicing operations in conjunction with Special Fueling Operations increases the ability to generate sorties and minimize the time required to get aircraft airborne again.  This means less time waiting and more time delivering lethality. 

“We aren’t doing this in a vacuum,” said O’Neal. “Every step in this process we are in close communication with the owner of the tech data at the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Once what we have created here at LRAFB is in that tech data then other wings and bases can train on C-130 Hot-Integrated Combat Turns.”

Now with a successful demonstration of the C-130 Hot-Integrated Combat Turn concept of operations complete, the 19th AW will begin training all air and ground crews ensuring that they have the confidence to perform this Agile Combat Employment skill in any location.

“While I have heard a few times that ‘this has never been done,’ we aren't letting that stop us nor are we waiting for someone to tell us how to move out,” Ochoa said. “We have the full capability and authority to conduct hot-refueling/defueling operations and to conduct engine running onload/offloads.  Today we saw in action what the Herk Mindset is all about:  see a problem, work together as a team to find a solution, and get it done.” 

Through the C-130 Hot-Integrated Combat Turn, the Black Knights have showcased their vision of Ready for the Next Challenge!