A U. S. Air Force C-130 cargo plane was scheduled for a landing at the Hope Municipal Airport today for a Mid-Air Collision Avoidance planning meeting for fall military exercises in Southwest Arkansas.
The meeting will be with local airport officials in advance of base air crews from Little Rock Air Force Base using the airfield for training in the fall.
The Hope Municipal Airport will provide a drop zone for base air crews to practice precision airdrop deliveries with simulated Container Delivery System bundles. The 600-pound training bundles will contain four plastic barrels filled with water.
“We are urging the citizens of Hope and the surrounding areas to come tour the C-130 when it is here from 12-2 p. m. on Friday,” Paul Henley, of the Hope Airport Authority, said. “We want to familiarize everyone to the sound of the planes coming in and the planes being here for training missions.”
The training missions flown at the new drop zone will allow base air crews to hone the skills crucial to flying successful combat and humanitarian operations around the globe.
“This training will allow our crews to simulate the Container Delivery System airdrops we primarily use in Afghanistan to deliver supplies to forward deployed warfighters on the ground,” Jonah Woods, base airspace manager, said. “Operations at Hope Municipal Airport will be vital in preparing our air crews for the challenges they will experience flying missions over Afghanistan, as well as around the world.”
Friday's meeting with the Hope community is important because neighbors can learn abou the Team Little Rock's worldwide C-130 Combat Airlift mission and the importance of the training being conducted at their local airport, according to a United States Air Force press release.
“We appreciate the opportunity to train at the Hope Municipal Airport and are grateful for the support of our Arkansas neighbors,” Woods said. “The positive support from the community has been outstanding.”
At any given time, approximately 600 Airmen are deployed from Little Rock Air Force Base supporting global contingency operations, according to the press release. Since October, 2012, deployed Little Rock AFB air crews have flown more than 12,000 sorties and have delivered more than 61 tons of airlifted cargo, approximately 2,500 tons of airdropped cargo, and more than 128,000 passengers.
For more information on the Team Little Rock mission, visit www.littlerock.af.mil