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Graphic of a plane for Steady and ready: C-130 mainstay of medevac


Since the 1960s, the C-130 Hercules has been a workhorse of the U.S. Air Force aeromedical evacuation capability. Today, it remains a reliable platform to move patients over long distances, allowing Airmen and Guardians to provide critical care in the air, aid in disaster relief missions, and bring warfighters home.

First entering service in 1956, the C-130 is a versatile aircraft, well suited to the aeromedical evacuation mission. Rugged and dependable enough for extensive operations in theater, it is capable of operating from short and unimproved runways. This helps push medical capabilities closer to the front lines. The C-130’s design allows the aircraft to quickly switch from a cargo and personnel transport configuration to an aeromedical evacuation platform for up to 74 litter patients. Outfitted with electrical and oxygen systems for aeromedical evacuation equipment, the C-130’s cabin design helps reduce the negative impact of altitude on patients.

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

“People don’t realize how many patients can fit onto a C-130. Aeromedical Evacuation crews have to figure out ways to provide patient care in a creative, but safe, manner. It requires a good amount of planning and teamwork.”

– U.S. Air Force Capt. Jessica Meade, U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine


“I think that people out there doing the missions, forward deployed, fighting the good fight can do their jobs easier, and their leadership can make decisions with confidence knowing that if something happens, there is aeromedical evacuation to come pick them up and bring them home safely.”

– U.S. Air Force Capt. Aline Putnam 379th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron flight nurse

Aeromedical Evacuation Missions


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