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DISASTER MANAGEMENT
U.S. Air Force retires first HC-130 search and rescue aircraft
by Ryan Maass
Valdosta GA (UPI) Mar 07, 2017


U.S. Air Force personnel have formally retired King 52, the branch's first HC-130P/N combat search and rescue aircraft.

The HC-130P/N is the Air Force's only dedicated fixed-wing personnel recovery platform. The aircraft is an extended version of the C-130 military airlifter, featuring enhanced inertial navigation, threat detection and countermeasure capabilities.

Air Force officials praised the platforms' service in a statement announcing King 52's retirement.

"It was about to retire when we acquired it from Moody Air Force Base," Tech. Sgt. Norberto Nieves said. "It was a work horse; that's for sure."

Recently, King 52 was stationed at the Patrick Air Force Base in Florida, where it was used to support local training missions. The airlifter was retired while it was out of commission due to a maintenance issue.

"Like a classic car that you've owned and driven, an airplane becomes an extension of you. Putting it to bed for the last time is moving," Maj. Nnick Philpitt added.

The plane will be relocated to the Air Force Materiel Command's 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration group, where it will be stored alongside other retired military and government aircraft.

The Air Force has 13 HC-130N/P planes in active service, with an additional 10 in reserve.

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Thousands flee anti-IS offensives in Iraq and Syria
Mosul, Iraq (AFP) March 5, 2017
Tens of thousands of civilians have fled offensives against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, where the jihadists are battling to keep what remains of their territory, the UN said Sunday. IS overran large areas of both countries in 2014, declaring a "caliphate" in territory it controlled, but the jihadist group has since lost ground to Iraqi forces and faced advances from different ... read more

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