BY ERICA MELTON –
On March 8th, Little Rock Air Force Base conducted a training mission at Mena Intermountain Municipal Airport.
The training mission consisted of three C-130 aircrafts, with six people on each craft. The planes arrived around 4:30 p.m. and conducted tactical approaches for about an hour. After sunset, they went back out for more maneuvers in the dark, with airfield lighting extinguished.
Fred Ogden, the manager of the airport, told the Pulse, that Air Force personnel prefers conducting training in Mena because they find the terrain interesting, and there’s no control towers. This means it’s up to the pilot and crew to determine where and how to land.
The Air Force released its original design for C-130s in 1951, which means these aircrafts have been in service for over half a century. They fulfill a wide range of operational missions in both peace and war times, as this aircraft can airdrop up to 42,000 pound loads and land on short airstrips in combat zones. It’s the prime transport for dropping supplies to troops in battle. These aircrafts are also used for natural disaster relief and firefighting for the U.S. Forest Service.