The three Americans killed in a C-130 crash in Australia on Thursday were all veterans (left to right) Ian H. McBeth, of the Wyoming and Montana Air National Guard; Paul Clyde Hudson, of the Marine Corps; and Rick A. DeMorgan Jr., of the Air Force. (Coulson Aviation courtesy photo)

The three Americans killed in a C-130 air tanker crash while fighting Australian bushfires on Thursday were all identified as military veterans, according to a statement released by their employer, Coulson Aviation.

The oldest of the three fallen veterans was Ian H. McBeth, a 44-year-old pilot who served with the Wyoming Air National Guard and was an active member of the Montana Air National Guard. McBeth "spent his entire career flying C-130s and was a qualified Instructor and Evaluator pilot," said Coulson Aviation. He's survived by his wife Bowdie and three children Abigail, Calvin and Ella.

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A Large Air Tanker (LAT) C-130 Hercules drops a load of around 15,000 liters during a display by the Rural Fire Service ahead of the bushfire season at RAAF Base Richmond Sydney, Australia, September 1, 2017. (Reuters/David Gray)

SYDNEY (Reuters) - A Canadian-owned C-130 Hercules air tanker crashed while fighting bushfires in Australia's alpine region on Thursday, killing all three of its crew, authorities said.

The victims were American residents, Australian authorities said, adding that they did not immediately know why the plane crashed while carrying a load of fire retardant.

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The Defense Department just took a major step towards making the dream of a flying drone carrier a reality.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's air-launched and recoverable X-61A Gremlins Air Vehicle finally conducted a maiden flight in November 2019, Gremlin contractor Dynetics announced on Friday.

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HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. — Rescue teams are searching a 700-square-mile area of the Gulf of Mexico between Fort Walton Beach and Pensacola, looking for any sign of a 24th Special Operations Wing airman who went missing in the water late Tuesday morning after apparently falling out of a four-engine C-130 transport aircraft two miles south of Hurlburt Field.

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(U.S. Air Force/Yasuo Osakabe)

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.

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Chief Master Sgt. Eric Evers, 374th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron superintendent, walks on a ramp as he marshals a C-130H Hercules at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Oct. 16, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo/Yasuo Osakabe)

Editor's Note: This article by Oriana Pawlyk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The U.S. Air Force in recent weeks took 60 C-130H Hercules aircraft out of service to examine and replace engine propeller blades that inspectors deemed risky because the blades were manufactured before 1971.

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