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Air Force's only C-130 training squadron stands up here

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. (AETCNS) -- The first stop C-130 aircrew members will make in the training pipeline before operating the "Herk" is the newly created 714th Training Squadron here.

Lt. Col. Thomas Anderson assumed command of the squadron from Col. Andy Hamilton, 314th Operations Group commander, in a ceremony June 5 in the base's newest C-130 hangar.

"Today we're making history," Colonel Anderson said. "We've seen students leave here, and within two weeks they're deployed throughout the world supporting contingencies in the Global War on Terrorism. We owe it to them to enhance our training processes; to train better, smarter and to take care of the people who make the squadron, base and country what it is."

"The 714th will provide the world's finest training for the world's finest C-130 aircrews," Colonel Hamilton said.

The squadron is expected to be staffed by 42 military and civilian members performing all student support functions for more than 1,800 U.S. and allied students attending C-130 training annually. There are more than 500 Air Force C-130s around the world and aircrews from all Department of Defense services, the U.S. Coast Guard and 31 foreign nations undergo training here.

Colonel Anderson previously served as the 53rd Airlift Squadron's director of operations here and is a command pilot with more than 4,000 hours, including 60 combat hours and 174 combat support hours.

The C-130 primarily performs the Air Force's tactical airlift mission and is capable of operating from unconventional runways. It is also well-suited for air dropping troops and equipment into hostile areas. Most recently, aircrews and aircraft stationed here have been supporting operations in Iraq.
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