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The Air Force is pulling a quarter of its C-130s out of service for wing crack inspections
The Air Force has pulled roughly one quarter of its C-130 transport planes out of service after "atypical cracks" were discovered on planes' wings during maintenance, Air Mobility Command has announced.
Air Force Magazine reporter Rachel Cohen first reported on Thursday that 123 out of the service's 450 C-130s required the wing crack inspections.
So far, eight of those planes have been inspected and returned to service, said Air Mobility Command spokesman Maj. Jonathan Simmons.
"Each of the 123 aircraft will undergo inspections, projected to take approximately eight hours per aircraft," Simmons told Task & Purpose on Thursday. "These inspections will occur at the locations the aircraft were at the time of the TCTO [time compliance technical order] and the overall timeline depends upon the capacity to inspect at those locations. Operational requirements will be a consideration in this timeline."
The temporary loss of that many C-130s is not expected to affect operations overseas, according to an Aug. 7 Air Mobility Command news release.
Gen. Maryanne Miller, head of Air Mobility Command, ordered the immediate inspections for the cracks, which were discovered on the lower center wing joint, known as the "rainbow fitting," the AMC news release says.
"Each aircraft that is inspected with no defect found will be immediately returned to service," Simmons said.
The inspections should take place on C-130H and newer J models with more than 15,000 flight hours that have not received the extended service life center wing box, the news release says.
This is the latest body blow to the Air Force, which has been struggling to keep older aircraft flying despite recent increases in defense spending since President Donald Trump took office.
Air Force Times reporter Stephen Losey recently reported that the mission capable rates for all Air Force aircraft dropped from 77.9 percent in fiscal 2012 to 69.97 percent in fiscal 2018.
At the end of July, only seven of the Air Force's 61 B-1B Lancers could fly, Air Force Global Strike Command told Task & Purpose at the time.
Former Defense Secretary James Mattis had ordered the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps to have 80 percent of their fighter aircraft able to fly by Oct. 1, but Breaking Defense Editor Colin Clark reported in July that the F-35 fleet is not expected to meet that threshold due to a lack of parts, such as its specially coated canopy.
US and Turkey agree on temporary cease fire to allow Kurdish fighters to withdraw from northeast Syria
They started the US war against ISIS. Now they have an important message for Trump on abandoning the Kurds
Trump's recent decisions in northern Syria were ill-advised, strategically unsound, and morally shameful. In rapidly withdrawing U.S. presence and allowing a Turk offensive into Syria, we have left the Syrian Kurds behind, created a power vacuum for our adversaries to fill, and set the stage for the resurgence of ISIS.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - One of the world's largest freshwater fish is protected by the natural equivalent of a "bulletproof vest," helping it thrive in the dangerous waters of the Amazon River basin with flexible armor-like scales able to withstand ferocious piranha attacks.
Researchers from the University of California, San Diego and University of California, Berkeley on Wednesday described the unique structure and impressive properties of the dermal armor of the fish, called Arapaima gigas. They said their findings can help guide development of better body armor for people as well as applications in aerospace design.
DELAND, Florida — A military freefall parachuting team has a better reason to conquer Mount Everest than "because it's there."
The 12-member team, assembled by Complete Parachute Solutions of DeLand, will attempt a world record for the highest-elevation tactical military freefall parachute landing. But it's more than a record. It's validation.
"When CPS says we've landed our parachutes at over 20,000 feet, that means we've done it," said Johnny Rogers, the company's vice president.
The U.S. military's withdrawal from northeast Syria is looking more like Dunkirk every day.
On Wednesday, the U.S. military had to call in an airstrike on one of its own ammunition dumps in northern Syria because the cargo trucks required to safely remove the ammo are needed elsewhere to support the withdrawal, Task & Purpose has learned.