The U.S. Air Force (USAF) C-130J Super Hercules tactical airlifters, assigned to the 317th Airlift Wing based in Dyess Air Force Base, TX, completed a routine global channel mission to provide sustainment and supplies to Airmen supporting U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) Joint Task Force-Bravo in Honduras on Oct. 18.
The 317th AW alternates the resupply mission with the 19th AW at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas. Planners at the 618th Air Operations Center at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, plan each channel mission and balance mission requirements before determining what aircraft will be best suited for the mission.
“C-130Js are usually the aircraft of choice for these weekly channel missions,” said Mr. Robert Gilmore, 618th AOC, Global Channel Operations planner.
“They use less fuel than a C-17 or C-5, and the amount of goods or supplies in the sustainment cargo pipeline doesn’t require a larger aircraft. At the end of the day, mission effect is what matters, but the 618th AOC planners also do their best to make sure the aircraft is efficiently utilized”, he added.
When 618th AOC Global Channel Operations plan their channel missions, they also determine routing, plan for weather, coordinate diplomatic clearances, determine airfield ramp space, and check for fuel availability, in addition to determining the most efficient aircraft for the channel cargo requirement.
In addition, the 317th AW completes routine global channel missions to Thule Air Base, Greenland, periodically.
Master Sgt. Kristine Dreyer/ Air Mobility Command HQ