“The conversion was very professional. We feel that the Americans are partners we can work with” The first aerial teams of the (C-130J) “Hercules” planes returned from their training in the United States. They visited the factory in which the Israeli model of the plane is made, and they saw the unique systems of the plane. “The conversion was professional. We are counting the days until the “Hercules” reaches us.”
The first (C-130J) “Hercules” squadron in the IAF is in the middle of its own building process, and now, another step towards its completion has been taken: the first aerial teams have received their qualifications to fly the plane and have returned to Israel. They had been staying in the United States for a period of almost four months in which they underwent training on the advance transport plane at the Little Rock airbase in Arkansas. “The training was very good. We didn’t just learn about the ‘Hercules’ and how to fly it, we also learned about the United States Air Force. We saw how American pilots train with the plane and we gained knowledge that we can also implement”, explains Lieutenant Colonel Uri, commander of the founding team of the “Hercules” squadron who will command it when it opens. “The conversion was very professional. We feel that the Americans are partners we can work with”.
The training in the United States included studies on the ground, flights in the simulators, and flights on the (C-130J) “Hercules” itself. Aerial teams returned to Israel on Tuesday afternoon, but not before taking a closer look at the Israeli model that will in Israel. “We visited the factor where the plane is manufactured and we saw the Israeli “Hercules” that will arrive in Israel in 2014″, adds Lieutenant Colonel Uri. “We learned about the air force plane and saw the systems that were installed. The plane is currently in the trial stage and undergoing inspections. We are counting the days until the “Hercules” reaches us.”
Soon, one of the aerial teams and loading inspectors who were trained on the plane will return to Israel, while the first technicians will undergo their own training in the United States in January. Although the first aerial teams finished their training, the founding team is expected to have much work ahead of it until the plane lands here in 2014. “We are continuing to work from here. First of all, we need to open the squadron and raise the “Elephant” squadron flag, which was folded in August, and recruit HR personnel. We will begin to define combat doctrines and how to perform missions. There is a lot of work and preparations [that need to be done] for the plane and the first flights on it”.