Thank you C-130H

Chief Master Sgt. Eric Evers, 374th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron superintendent, walks on a ramp as he marshals a C-130H Hercules at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Oct. 16, 2017.

Chief Master Sgt. Eric Evers, 374th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron superintendent, walks on a ramp as he marshals a C-130H Hercules at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Oct. 16, 2017. “It’s a symbol of what American Airmen can produce. It is well used, and the maintenance that has been performed on it for 43 years has enabled it to continue its missions in the hands of our brother’s and sister’s in the Air National Guard.” Said Evers when asked what the H-model means to him. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

Members of the U.S. Air Force band of Pacific-Asia perform prior to the C-130H farewell ceremony at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Oct. 16, 2017.

Members of the U.S. Air Force band of Pacific-Asia perform prior to the C-130H farewell ceremony at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Oct. 16, 2017. Yokota Airmen said farewell to the last C-130H Hercules in the Air Force’s active-duty inventory. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Donald Hudson)

Col. Kenneth Moss, 374th Airlift Wing commander, speaks during the official C-130H Hercules Farewell Ceremony at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Oct. 16, 2017.

Col. Kenneth Moss, 374th Airlift Wing commander, speaks during the official C-130H Hercules Farewell Ceremony at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Oct. 16, 2017. Yokota was the last base with C-130H in its active-duty inventory. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Donald Hudson)

Members from the 374th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron applauds an air crew during the official C-130H Hercules Farewell Ceremony at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Oct. 16, 2017.

Members from the 374th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron applauds an air crew during the official C-130H Hercules Farewell Ceremony at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Oct. 16, 2017. The air crew was assigned to fly the last C-130H out of Yokota. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Donald Hudson)

Members of Team Yokota and invited Japanese guests gather in Hangar 15 during the official C-130H Hercules Farewell Ceremony at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Oct. 16, 2017.

Members of Team Yokota and invited Japanese guests gather in Hangar 15 during the official C-130H Hercules Farewell Ceremony at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Oct. 16, 2017. Yokota was the last base with C-130H in its active-duty inventory. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Donald Hudson)

Members with the 374th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron give a "thumbs up" to the aircrew on the C-130H Hercules at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Oct. 16, 2017.

Members with the 374th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron give a "thumbs up" to the aircrew on the C-130H Hercules at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Oct. 16, 2017. The aircraft was nicknamed “Heisman” for its ability to stiff-arm the repair of most discrepancies or the stiff-arm of several attempted launches. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

Members with the 374th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron salute the last C-130H Hercules departing from Yokota Air Base, Japan, Oct. 16, 2017.

Members with the 374th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron salute the last C-130H Hercules departing from Yokota Air Base, Japan, Oct. 16, 2017. Yokota was the last active-duty location to operate the C-130H. The 374th AMXS maintained 14 C-130H Hercules aircraft, which were responsible for the tactical airlift of an area of responsibility covering 50 percent of the globe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

The C-130H Hercules assigned to the 36th Airlift Squadron leaves propeller tip vortices in its wake as it takes off from Yokota Air Base, Japan, Oct. 16, 2017.

The C-130H Hercules assigned to the 36th Airlift Squadron leaves propeller tip vortices in its wake as it takes off from Yokota Air Base, Japan, Oct. 16, 2017. The Hercules was the last in The Air Force’s active-duty C-130H inventory. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

A C-130H Hercules assigned to the 36th Airlift Squadron leaves propeller tip vortices in tis wake as it takes off from Yokota Air Base, Japan, Oct. 16, 2017.

A C-130H Hercules assigned to the 36th Airlift Squadron leaves propeller tip vortices in tis wake as it takes off from Yokota Air Base, Japan, Oct. 16, 2017. During the C-130H farewell ceremony. After completing the ceremony, Yokota sent off its last two C-130Hs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

Yokota Air Base, Japan --

After 43 years Team Yokota observed a historical milestone as the base sent off the last two active-duty C-130H Hercules in the Air Force.

 

The second to last H-model to leave Yokota Air Base was tail number 74-1661, which took off during an official ceremony open to Team Yokota and invited Japanese guests. The last H-model to leave Yokota was tail number 74-2065, which took off during a C-130H maintainer only traditional ceremony.

 

“I think it’s fitting for a small unit of 14 aged C-130H Hercules responsible for the tactical airlift of the Indo-Asia Pacific region covering 50% of the globe to be the last active-duty unit,” said Chief Master Sgt. Eric L. Evers, 374th AMXS superintendent. “A relatively small airlift asset covering arguably the most significant area of the globe is amazing!”

 

As a maintainer, Evers has an in-depth knowledge and respect for the H-model after years of working on the aircraft.

 

“The C-130H is a symbol of what America’s Airmen can produce,” said Evers. “It’s well used, but the maintenance that has been performed on it for 43 years has enabled it to continue its mission in the hands of our brother’s and sister’s in the Air National Guard.”

 

Saying goodbye to the H-model, Yokota has now moved to the C-130J Super Hercules, receiving it’s first new airframe in March 2017.

 

“The J model is simply the next variant of the Hercules.” said Capt. Thomas Bernard, 36th Airlift Squadron C-130H pilot. “The mission is the same and the aircraft is more technologically advanced and powerful.”

 

After years of operations with the C-130H to including; Tomodachi, Damayan, Operation Christmas Drop and many more, the ground work for the relationship between Yokota and the Pacific-theater has been paved by the help of the C-130H Hercules, and will continue on the wings of the new J-model.

According to Evans, the outstanding working relationship between the Airmen in the 374th Maintenance Group and the 374th Operations Group is a relationship that will carry the 374th Airlift Wing into the future with the J-model.