The C-130H simulator is located in building 7000 at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. Throughout its years at Dyess, the simulator has been used to train hundreds of aircrew from the 463rd Airlift Wing, 7th Bomb Wing and 317th Airlift Group. (U.S. Air Force photos by Airman 1st Class Damon Kasberg/Released)
U.S. Air Force Col. Walter Ward, 317th Airlift Group commander, speaks to an audience during the C-130 Hercules simulator farewell ceremony July 12, 2012 at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. The H-model era will come to an end later this year when the last C-130H will be withdrawn from service. The fleet of 33 H-models will be replaced with 28 new C-130Js, making the 317th AG the largest J-model unit in the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Damon Kasberg/Released)
by Airman 1st Class Charles V. Rivezzo
7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
7/20/2012 - DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Members from the 317th Airlift Group bid farewell July 12 to one of Dyess' greatest assets, its C-130 Hercules simulator, as it's slated to be moved to Little Rock AFB, Ark., later this year.
"Today marks the end to 29 years of history for the C-130 H-model simulator at Dyess," said Capt. Eric Blakely, 317th Operations Support Squadron during the ceremony. "For the last three decades, this simulator has provided Dyess aircrew realistic training while preparing them for success in both contingency and humanitarian missions."
Throughout its years at Dyess, the simulator has been used to train thousands of aircrew from the 463rd Airlift Wing, 7th Bomb Wing and 317th Airlift Group.
Additionally, the simulator has saved the Air Force millions of dollars throughout its tenure, with fuel cost savings alone in excess of $139 million.
"This is a sad day in the 317th Airlift Group. It's the turning of a page for a facility and a mission that has been here for 29 years," said Col. Walter Ward, 317th AG commander. "We have progressed exponentially through the years and seen a lot of changes that have helped make our crews safe and effective. Many of the great things that our Airmen have done in the airplane had the seeds planted right here in the sim."
During the ceremony, Ward honored several contractors and instructors who have worked at the facility.
"These individuals are some of the most talented and dedicated instructors you will find anywhere on the planet," Ward said. "They put us in that box, and challenged us to the very limits of what we thought we had and beyond. Anyone who has ever had a dangerous mission, been shot at and handled it well, and brought us home to our families, we owe you a round of applause. You will hold a very special place in the history books of Dyess."
As one chapter in the Dyess history book comes to an end, another begins with the scheduled arrival of a C-130 J-model simulator late next year.
The closing of the H-model facility and the opening of the J-model facility are all part of the ongoing transition the 317th AG is making to the newer aircraft. The H-model era will come to an end later this year when the last C-130H will be withdrawn from service.
The fleet of 33 H-models will be replaced with 28 new C-130Js, making the 317th AG the largest J-model unit in the world.