908th Bids Farewell to last ’85 Model in Fleet

  • Published
  • By Bradley J. Clark
  • 908th Airlift Wing
The last of the 908th Airlift Wing’s 1985 vintage C-130s, tail number 0035, known as the “City of Montgomery” departed Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., September 10, after 31 years of service with the unit.

The aircraft headed to the Boneyard at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Ariz. The aircraft was scheduled to leave on September 13, but the departure was advanced in light of the approach of Hurricane Irma.

Two other aircraft left the base as well, to be better positioned to support relief efforts following the storm.

This marks the last departure and retirement of eight 1985 model aircraft belonging to the 908th after having flown more than 94,700 hours total in the more than 31 years since they arrived at Maxwell. The fleet has deployed in support of all of the named contingencies in the Middle East and Africa since then. They have also supported humanitarian and relief operations, following hurricanes and floods at home and abroad.

The first of eight newer C-130 Hercules aircraft to serve with the 908th arrived here Jan 12. Six of the newer aircraft came from the 914th Airlift Wing, now known as the 914th Air Refueling Wing at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, N. Y., and two came from the 911th Airlift Wing at Pittsburgh International Airport Air Reserve Station, Pa.

The 914th is transitioning to the KC-135 Stratotanker air refueling aircraft and the 911th is transitioning to the C-17 Globemaster III cargo aircraft.

After flying the same aircraft for more than 31 years, the 908th finished its transition from the current 1985 model aircraft to eight aircraft built between 1989 and 1992.

While they are 4-7 years newer than the wing’s previous aircraft, they are the same H-2 model the wing has flown for more than three decades.

During the last nine months the 1985 models have been retired as the newer aircraft arrived. The transition was completed with the departure of 50035 to the Boneyard.

A ceremony is planned at a later date to anoint one of the newer aircraft with the name, logo, and heritage of the “City of Montgomery.”

The 908th is the state’s only Air Force Reserve unit. The unit operates a fleet of eight C-130H Hercules cargo aircraft. Known as the “Workhorse of the Air Force,” this plane can carry 42,000 pounds of cargo, 92 troops, 64 paratroops or 74 litter patients. It can fly up to 386 mph with a range of 5,200 miles.