139th Airlift Wing completes 41 hour mission

Hot Refuelling being undertaken during Missouri Air National Guard mission.
Photo: U.S. Air National Guard/ Michael Crane
Thomas Saunders 3 Min Read
3 Min Read

The 139th Airlift Wing, part of the Missouri Air National Guard (ANG), has completed a 41 hour mission originating from Rosecrans ANG base.

Whilst the flight time was 41.5 hours, the engines of the C-130 ran continuously for 45 hours. The airframe involved is believed to be 91-1653, a Lockheed C-130H.

The age of the aircraft is unclear, however, funds from the 1991 fiscal year funded it’s purchase.

Pushing Limits

“This mission tested the combination of max endurance concept with a rapid deployment and explosion into theater scenario,” said Lt. Col. Eric Rawlings, commander of the 139th Operations Group.

“The max endurance piece was not so much with the crews this mission as it is with the aircraft since the profile has the engines running for 40 hours straight.”

Three flight crews undertook the mission, with each crew flying for approximately ten hours. One crew completed two shifts as part of the mission.


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“[This] sortie is the first of many training scenarios that will test the 139th Airlift Wing’s capabilities,” said Col. Mark Ruehter, commander of the 139th Maintenance Group.

“It is our goal to provide airlift capabilities anywhere, at any time, when answering the nation’s call, and this is just the first step.”

Two maintenance airmen, a crew chief, and an avionics specialist supplemented each flight crew.

“This is a proof of concept to bring together different skills that will aid our warfighting capabilities,” said Capt. Albert Selanders, a pilot assigned to the Advanced Airlift Tactics Training Center and mission commander for the 41-hour sortie.

The goal is to “keep the airplane running, [put] gas on it, [and] keep the mission going in the shortest amount of time possible.”

The Missouri Air National Guard 139th Logistics Readiness Squadron was responsible for the hot refuelling. Hot refuelling is the process of refuelling an aircraft whilst the engines are running. In total, the aircraft received of 27,670 gallons of fuel.

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The 139th Airlift Wing, part of the Missouri Air National Guard, has completed a 41 hour mission, with the aircraft running for 45 hours.
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