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Steady and ready: C-130 mainstay of medevac

U.S. Air Force Airmen participating in a critical care air transport team training course offload patient mannequins from a Kentucky Air National Guard C-130 Hercules at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, April 27, 2012. The Kentucky Air Guard's 165th Airlift Squadron began providing C-130s to use as a CCATT training platform in 2009. Currently the C-130 is the primary tactical intra-theater aeromedical evacuation platform employed during contingencies and war. CCATT training on the C-130 gives Air Force doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists with total immersion in the care of severely injured patients. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

U.S. Air Force Airmen participating in a critical care air transport team training course offload patient mannequins from a Kentucky Air National Guard C-130 Hercules at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, April 27, 2012. The Kentucky Air Guard's 165th Airlift Squadron began providing C-130s to use as a CCATT training platform in 2009. Currently the C-130 is the primary tactical intra-theater aeromedical evacuation platform employed during contingencies and war. CCATT training on the C-130 gives Air Force doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists with total immersion in the care of severely injured patients. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

U.S. Air Force Reserve Citizen Airmen with the 514th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakenhurst, New Jersey, board a C-130H Hercules prior to an aeromedical evacuation training mission, Dec. 15, 2017. During this training mission, the ground was covered with about five inches of icy slick snow, demonstrating the C-130’s ability to operate in challenging conditions, and allowing for safe and rapid patient evacuation in a variety of environments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen)

U.S. Air Force Reserve Citizen Airmen with the 514th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakenhurst, New Jersey, board a C-130H Hercules prior to an aeromedical evacuation training mission, Dec. 15, 2017. During this training mission, the ground was covered with about five inches of icy slick snow, demonstrating the C-130’s ability to operate in challenging conditions, and allowing for safe and rapid patient evacuation in a variety of environments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen)

A C-130 Hercules aircraft makes a final approach into Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan. 16, 2010, part of the relief effort that delivered critical medical personnel and supplies after the area was hit by a 7.0 earthquake. According to the Air Mobility Command Historian Office, the C-130 is the most modified aircraft in the Air Force, allowing it to meet a variety of mission requirements. This versatility makes the C-130 an important airframe for disaster response, as it can be reconfigured quickly in the field from cargo transport to aeromedical evacuations when needed. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Perry Aston)

A C-130 Hercules aircraft makes a final approach into Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan. 16, 2010, part of the relief effort that delivered critical medical personnel and supplies after the area was hit by a 7.0 earthquake. According to the Air Mobility Command Historian Office, the C-130 is the most modified aircraft in the Air Force, allowing it to meet a variety of mission requirements. This versatility makes the C-130 an important airframe for disaster response, as it can be reconfigured quickly in the field from cargo transport to aeromedical evacuations when needed. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Perry Aston)

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 37th and 59th Air Wing unload hospital patients evacuating from Beaumont, Texas, September 12, 2008, in advance of Hurricane Ike making landfall. C-130 Hercules from Little Rock Air Force Base, with aeromedical evacuation crews from the 908th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, Scott AFB, helped move vulnerable patients out of the storm’s path while maintaining a high level of care during transport. The C-130 is distinct from similar platforms due to its ability to perform diverse roles, including airlift support, aeromedical evacuation missions, and disaster relief missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chris Willis)

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 37th and 59th Air Wing unload hospital patients evacuating from Beaumont, Texas, September 12, 2008, in advance of Hurricane Ike making landfall. C-130 Hercules from Little Rock Air Force Base, with aeromedical evacuation crews from the 908th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, Scott AFB, helped move vulnerable patients out of the storm’s path while maintaining a high level of care during transport. The C-130 is distinct from similar platforms due to its ability to perform diverse roles, including airlift support, aeromedical evacuation missions, and disaster relief missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chris Willis)

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 455th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron prepare to unload patients from a C-130J Super Hercules, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, May 29, 2014. The unit uses the C-130J to achieve larger patient loads, long-distance transportation, and a greater ability to care for injured members. To do this, all members of an AE crew must coordinate quickly to set up the appropriate litter configuration that maximizes patient transport and can accommodate the necessary medical equipment.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Evelyn Chavez)

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 455th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron prepare to unload patients from a C-130J Super Hercules, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, May 29, 2014. The unit uses the C-130J to achieve larger patient loads, long-distance transportation, and a greater ability to care for injured members. To do this, all members of an AE crew must coordinate quickly to set up the appropriate litter configuration that maximizes patient transport and can accommodate the necessary medical equipment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Evelyn Chavez)

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 455th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron prepare to unload patients at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, May 29, 2014. The aeromedical evacuation squadron transports and treats ill and injured personnel throughout Afghanistan. Space on a C-130 is at a premium, so aeromedical evacuation teams have to be organized when they set up their working area, which runs nearly the entire length of the aircraft’s cargo area. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Evelyn Chavez)

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 455th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron prepare to unload patients at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, May 29, 2014. The aeromedical evacuation squadron transports and treats ill and injured personnel throughout Afghanistan. Space on a C-130 is at a premium, so aeromedical evacuation teams have to be organized when they set up their working area, which runs nearly the entire length of the aircraft’s cargo area. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Evelyn Chavez)

Members of the 379th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron prepare to load litters onto a C-130 Hercules assigned to the 746th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, June 15, 2018. C-130s can be configured to allow litters to be strapped to either sides of metal posts connected at the ceiling and floor of the aircraft. The aeromedical evacuation team starts by setting up the litter stanchions, then installs oxygen lines, and then attach the equipment that will be used during the mission, all before patients are brought aboard. Setting up these posts to accommodate for litter patients is time consuming, so aircrews have to work efficiently to configure the aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Xavier Navarro)

Members of the 379th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron prepare to load litters onto a C-130 Hercules assigned to the 746th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, June 15, 2018. C-130s can be configured to allow litters to be strapped to either sides of metal posts connected at the ceiling and floor of the aircraft. The aeromedical evacuation team starts by setting up the litter stanchions, then installs oxygen lines, and then attach the equipment that will be used during the mission, all before patients are brought aboard. Setting up these posts to accommodate for litter patients is time consuming, so aircrews have to work efficiently to configure the aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Xavier Navarro)

Then- U.S. Air Force Maj. Debora Lehker, a reserve critical care air transport team nurse, comforts a wounded Canadian army soldier aboard a C-130 Hercules during an emergency airlift from Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Feb. 14, 2010. Aeromedical Evacuation team members are considered flight crew, meaning they must be familiar with the C-130 aircraft in addition to the medical specialty they practice. They need to know how to configure the aircraft to accommodate patient litters and know how the electricity works for the machines used to keep patients safe in flight. (Courtesy photo)

Then- U.S. Air Force Maj. Debora Lehker, a reserve critical care air transport team nurse, comforts a wounded Canadian army soldier aboard a C-130 Hercules during an emergency airlift from Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Feb. 14, 2010. Aeromedical Evacuation team members are considered flight crew, meaning they must be familiar with the C-130 aircraft in addition to the medical specialty they practice. They need to know how to configure the aircraft to accommodate patient litters and know how the electricity works for the machines used to keep patients safe in flight. (Courtesy photo)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgts. Alexander Finn and Johnny Busby, 455th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron technicians, transport a patient from a C-130 Hercules to an ambulance in Southwest Asia, April 19, 2015. Part of what makes this possible is that the C-130 is a pressurized aircraft specially designed to minimize the negative effects of altitude on patients, while ensuring rapid transport to higher levels of medical care. C-130-type aircraft are equipped with electrical and oxygen systems to support and accommodate specialized aeromedical evacuation equipment and enable medical Airmen to provide the necessary care to patients. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Whitney Amstutz)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgts. Alexander Finn and Johnny Busby, 455th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron technicians, transport a patient from a C-130 Hercules to an ambulance in Southwest Asia, April 19, 2015. Part of what makes this possible is that the C-130 is a pressurized aircraft specially designed to minimize the negative effects of altitude on patients, while ensuring rapid transport to higher levels of medical care. C-130-type aircraft are equipped with electrical and oxygen systems to support and accommodate specialized aeromedical evacuation equipment and enable medical Airmen to provide the necessary care to patients. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Whitney Amstutz)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Nathan Buck, 455th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron Critical Care Air Transport Team medical provider watches a patient during a flight to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, May 29, 2014. The unit uses fixed-wing aircraft, such as the C-130J Super Hercules, which allows for larger patient loads, long-distance transportation, and a greater ability to care for injured members. With the limited space on the back of a C-130, crewmembers require easy access medical equipment to respond to issues they may encounter in-flight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Evelyn Chavez)
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U.S. Air Force Capt. Nathan Buck, 455th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron Critical Care Air Transport Team medical provider watches a patient during a flight to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, May 29, 2014. The unit uses fixed-wing aircraft, such as the C-130J Super Hercules, which allows for larger patient loads, long-distance transportation, and a greater ability to care for injured members. With the limited space on the back of a C-130, crewmembers require easy access medical equipment to respond to issues they may encounter in-flight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Evelyn Chavez)

A hospital bus backs up to a C-130 Hercules aircraft to transport victims of the Pines Hotel fire to the regional medical center, Clark Air Base, Philippines, Oct. 23, 1984. More than 200 World War II veterans and their families were staying at the hotel in Baguio while attending a reunion commemorating the 40th anniversary of the liberation of the Philippines. Since the Vietnam War, the C-130 airframe gained a reputation as a reliable plane with improved capabilities for patient transport, making it a mainstay of today’s AE system. (Courtesy photo)
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A hospital bus backs up to a C-130 Hercules aircraft to transport victims of the Pines Hotel fire to the regional medical center, Clark Air Base, Philippines, Oct. 23, 1984. More than 200 World War II veterans and their families were staying at the hotel in Baguio while attending a reunion commemorating the 40th anniversary of the liberation of the Philippines. Since the Vietnam War, the C-130 airframe gained a reputation as a reliable plane with improved capabilities for patient transport, making it a mainstay of today’s AE system. (Courtesy photo)

Flight Nurse and Aeromedical Technician Course students care for a simulated patient during a simulated aeromedical evacuation mission aboard a C-130H mockup at the 711th Human Performance Wing’s U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Jan. 29, 2018. Students in this course complete 40 hours on the C-130H mockup as part of their ground training check-rides. USAFSAM houses two C-130 mockups used in a variety of aeromedical evacuation training courses. These mockups provide realistic training to better prepare aeromedical evacuation crews for emergency procedures and in-flight patient care. The addition of an electric motion platform replicates the vibration and turbulence often encountered during takeoff, landing, and en route, making the trainer even more realistic and enabling the aeromedical crews to rehearse in a safe and immersive training environment, which will ultimately improve patient safety and survivability during medical missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by J.M. Eddins Jr.)
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Flight Nurse and Aeromedical Technician Course students care for a simulated patient during a simulated aeromedical evacuation mission aboard a C-130H mockup at the 711th Human Performance Wing’s U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Jan. 29, 2018. Students in this course complete 40 hours on the C-130H mockup as part of their ground training check-rides. USAFSAM houses two C-130 mockups used in a variety of aeromedical evacuation training courses. These mockups provide realistic training to better prepare aeromedical evacuation crews for emergency procedures and in-flight patient care. The addition of an electric motion platform replicates the vibration and turbulence often encountered during takeoff, landing, and en route, making the trainer even more realistic and enabling the aeromedical crews to rehearse in a safe and immersive training environment, which will ultimately improve patient safety and survivability during medical missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by J.M. Eddins Jr.)

Archive photo of the YC-130 Hercules during its maiden flight from Burbank to Edwards Air Force Base, California, Aug. 23, 1954. The need for the C-130 came from the Air Force’s Tactical Air Command during 1951 to fill a void for medium-cargo tactical transport. The C-130 is still in production today, making it the longest running military aircraft production line in history. For much of its operational history, the C-130 and its variants have been a critical aeromedical evacuation platform for the U.S. Air Force, safely moving patients long distances and allowing AE crews to deliver care in the air. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Archive photo of the YC-130 Hercules during its maiden flight from Burbank to Edwards Air Force Base, California, Aug. 23, 1954. The need for the C-130 came from the Air Force’s Tactical Air Command during 1951 to fill a void for medium-cargo tactical transport. The C-130 is still in production today, making it the longest running military aircraft production line in history. For much of its operational history, the C-130 and its variants have been a critical aeromedical evacuation platform for the U.S. Air Force, safely moving patients long distances and allowing AE crews to deliver care in the air. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Red Cross equipment, supplies and transportable hospitals are stockpiled into C-130 Hercules aircraft at Kitzingen Air Base, Germany, September 1970. The aircraft were flying to Jordan as part of Operation Fig Hill, providing disaster relief and medical support during civil strife. C-130 aircraft have always been able to navigate austere and, at times, hostile airfields to meet a wide variety of aeromedical evacuation missions. (Courtesy photo)
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Red Cross equipment, supplies and transportable hospitals are stockpiled into C-130 Hercules aircraft at Kitzingen Air Base, Germany, September 1970. The aircraft were flying to Jordan as part of Operation Fig Hill, providing disaster relief and medical support during civil strife. C-130 aircraft have always been able to navigate austere and, at times, hostile airfields to meet a wide variety of aeromedical evacuation missions. (Courtesy photo)

An ambulance bus from the 60th Inpatient Squadron backs up to a C-130 Hercules from Pittsburgh Air Reserve Station, Pennsylvania, during Patriot Delta at Travis Air Force Base, California, March 24, 2017. Members of the 60th IPTS participated in the Air Force Reserve exercise Patriot Delta, providing en route patient care and staging the medical manikins. Training opportunities such as this one allow AE crews to gain experience in safe and efficient patient transport from the ground, to the back of the aircraft, to delivering care in the air, and ensuring patients are transferred to the next level of care. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Daniel Phelps)
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An ambulance bus from the 60th Inpatient Squadron backs up to a C-130 Hercules from Pittsburgh Air Reserve Station, Pennsylvania, during Patriot Delta at Travis Air Force Base, California, March 24, 2017. Members of the 60th IPTS participated in the Air Force Reserve exercise Patriot Delta, providing en route patient care and staging the medical manikins. Training opportunities such as this one allow AE crews to gain experience in safe and efficient patient transport from the ground, to the back of the aircraft, to delivering care in the air, and ensuring patients are transferred to the next level of care. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Daniel Phelps)

FALLS CHURCH, Va. -- Since the Vietnam War, the C-130 Hercules has been a workhorse of aeromedical evacuation, and continues to serve as a reliable platform to move patients over long distances, allowing Airmen to provide critical care in the air, aid in disaster relief efforts, and bring warfighters home.

First entering service in 1956, the C-130 is a versatile aircraft, well suited to the aeromedical evacuation mission. Considered rugged and dependable enough for extensive operations in theater, it is capable of operating from rough and challenging runways. This helps push medical capabilities closer to the front lines. Because of the C-130’s design, it is able to quickly set aside its current mission and operate as an aeromedical evacuation platform. Not only can it be configured to carry up to 74 litter patients, it is outfitted with electrical and oxygen systems for aeromedical evacuation equipment, and is specifically designed to reduce the negative impact of altitude on patients and medical crews.

Currently, the C-130 platform is used as a tactical, intra-theater aeromedical evacuation platform and has been a mainstay of today’s aeromedical evacuation system.
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