Alaska Air Guard transfers three C-130s, retains one unfunded

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. N. Alicia Goldberger
  • 176 WG
The Alaska Air National Guard transferred three cargo planes to the Ohio Air National Guard on May 23.

Per National Guard Bureau mandate, the 176 Wing is reducing its inventory of C-130 cargo planes from 12 to eight.

To meet this requirement, two aircraft went to their new home with the Ohio Air National Guard's 179th Airlift Wing. A third, which has been on loan to the 154th Training Squadron in Arkansas, will remain there before ultimately being transferred to the Ohio ANG.

A fourth aircraft will remain with the 176 Wing, where National Guard Bureau has directed it remain as an unfunded aircraft.

Since 2010, the Alaska Air National Guard has shared a C-130 mission with the 537th Airlift Squadron on JBER, allowing the 176 Wing to have 12 cargo planes. Because the active duty unit is being disbanded, the wing must reduce its funded stock to eight of these aircraft.

"With the active duty going away, [reducing the inventory is] actually a necessity to keep our workload manageable," said Chief Master Sgt. Chris Cosher, the 176 Aircraft Maintenance Squadron's maintenance superintendent.

The unfunded cargo plane will be used when one of the eight primary aircraft needs extensive maintenance or is undergoing its month-long inspection, which for each C-130 comes due every 15 months. This allows aircraft operators to continue missions and training without interruption.

The three planes the Alaska ANG is divesting were brought to the 176 Wing straight from the factory in 1982, and the wing has maintained them until now.

"I'm going to miss the airplane," said Master Sgt. Bernie Desena, a previous crew chief of the "Five Four," one of the exiting aircraft. "I flew around the world in that airplane. I've deployed that airplane every deployment I went to in the Guard. I've won competitions with that airplane."

Ohio's 179th Airlift Wing has been going through changes with their own cargo planes. They lost their C-130 mission with the Base Realignment and Closure Act of 2005. After they gained a C-27J cargo plane mission and lost it in 2012 due to federal budget cuts, they were given the C-130 mission again.

With their new mission in hand, a group from the 179th came here to inspect their new aircraft before flying home with them.

"l think it's going to be a good bird," said the 179th's Master Sgt. Derek Netzly, the latest crew chief of "Five Four," about his new charge. "We're excited to be back in the C-130 business."

The transition of ownership caused a positive outcome.

"The planes we are divesting are going to stand up another unit, so that's a good thing," said Lt. Col. Michael Griesbaum, the deputy commander of the 176 Operations Group. "It's a good thing for the country; it's a good thing for the Air Force; it's a good thing for the people of Ohio."