American Forces Press Service
Oct. 29, 2009 - U.S. and Iraqi airmen moved parts of a wrecked C-130 Hercules transport from here to New Al Muthana Air Base, where they will be used as training aids for Iraqi aircraft maintainers. Elements of the 447th Expeditionary Air Group, the 321st Air Expeditionary Advisory Group and Iraqi airmen moved the parts Oct. 27.
"This is something they'll have here for many years to come, and they'll be able to train like we do in our Air Force," said Air Force Master Sgt. Dellet Weaver, New Al Muthana production superintendent. The parts removed include the left wing, a dry bay and fuel cell sections, landing gear struts and electrical components. They'll be modified to render them nonoperational before they are deployed as training aids, Weaver added.
Air Force Capt. Martin Hagg, New Al Muthana maintenance advisor, said he expects the training aids to be ready for use within the next three months.
"It's always better to get hands-on training than it is to get just theory training," he said. "You can always look at a picture or take them out to an actual aircraft and point to the parts out and say, 'This is how what we talked about works.' But if you can actually get your hands on it, if you can cut wires and rework wires, crawl inside a fuel cell -- that always gives you a higher fidelity of training."
The benefits will become apparent soon after the parts are ready to use, Hagg said. "I believe everyone is going to benefit from it," he said. "The Americans will benefit on a personal level by working with the Iraqi air force and getting to know them. The main beneficiary will be the Iraqi air force, who will get to continue on with their training."
(From a Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq news release.)