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Home Page Version 2 Forums Air Force What is life like as a C-130 guard pilot?

  • What is life like as a C-130 guard pilot?

    Posted by WillT on June 24, 2024 at 7:40 pm

    I’m looking to join enlist as a loadmaster with the 136th AW in Fort Worth, in hopes of later getting a slot. I love the herk and its mission, but there isn’t as much info on the herk as there is for fighters. Can any herk guys give me some insight into what life is like as a C-130 guard pilot. What is it like flying with the crew, what how many hours do y’all fly, etc? Also, what advice would you give to someone like me trying to join a C-130 squadron in the guard.

    A little background on me, I am 25, graduate with a Bachelors in Computer Science this fall, and was born and raised in Texas.

    D.J. replied 1 week, 2 days ago 2 Members · 3 Replies
  • 3 Replies
  • D.J.

    June 30, 2024 at 9:28 am
    2155 BogiPoints

    Thanks for your question, Will! I can easily answer that!!!

    First of all, we have WAY MORE fun than Fighter Pilots because all they do is “fly around the flag pole” then return to base! Haha!!!

    I have lots of good friends who are “fighter pilots” and always joke with them about C-130’s landing at the places they blow up!

    I have 20+ years as a C-130 Pilot flying the E, H2/3/3.5 and now the J Model. IT IS THE BEST!!!

    Usually we operate between a 3-6 man crew depending on the Airframe. You will typically fly between 300-500 hours a year, depending on the unit and how much you want to “get after it”!

    The Herk/Herc flies all kinds of missions: Airland, Airdrop (Heavy Equipment, Container Delivery System and Personnel), Formation, Night Vision Goggles, Land on Unimproved Landing Strips and take patients out via Aeromedical Evacuation. WE DO IT ALL!!!

    The mission is not always “glamorous”, but its definitely exciting!

    As for talking to a Unit (136 AW), you need to make a contact with their recruiters. Also, if you know someone in the Unit, see if they can give you contact information for their “Chief Pilot” or someone who is in charge of pilot hiring.

    There are lots of good posts on Bogidope about “rushing the unit”. The easiest thing to do is see if you can visit during a Drill Weekend (typically the first weekend each month).

    Applying for UPT is a lot of work! However, by taking the small steps of: 1. Familiarize yourself with the mission 2. Make contact with the Recruiters and 3. Try to go “rush/visit” the Unit will make it easier to accomplish.

    Hope this helps a little. Let me know what questions you have!

    Thanks, again, for your post!


    • WillT

      July 2, 2024 at 7:43 pm
      980 BogiPoints

      Wow! Thanks for the response, D.J.! If I was not already convinced I wanted fly C-130s, I definitely am now. I really appreciate the info!

  • D.J.

    July 6, 2024 at 9:28 pm
    2155 BogiPoints

    Great to hear, Will!

    As for joining a Unit as a Loadmaster, that is a good option as well.

    It really depends on what your long term goals are. A lot of times people join a unit to get experience, make some money and may be get education paid for.

    I think its a good idea to look at the all the options and decide what is best for you and your situation.

    Let me know what other questions you have!

    Best of luck!


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