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C-130H mission takes flight as the sun sets on 2013

A C-130H Hercules aircraft assigned to the 103rd Airlift Wing flies off into the sunset at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn., Dec. 19, 2013, marking the historic, first locally-generated sortie with the unit’s newly assigned airframe.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)

A C-130H Hercules aircraft assigned to the 103rd Airlift Wing flies off into the sunset at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn., Dec. 19, 2013, marking the historic, first locally-generated sortie with the unit’s newly assigned airframe. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)

A C-130H Hercules aircraft assigned to the 103rd Airlift Wing flies off into the sunset at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn., Dec. 19, 2013, marking the historic, first locally-generated sortie with the unit’s newly assigned airframe.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)

A C-130H Hercules aircraft assigned to the 103rd Airlift Wing flies off into the sunset at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn., Dec. 19, 2013, marking the historic, first locally-generated sortie with the unit’s newly assigned airframe. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)

A C-130H Hercules aircraft assigned to the 103rd Airlift Wing flies off into the sunset at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn., Dec. 19, 2013, marking the historic, first locally-generated sortie with the unit’s newly assigned airframe.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)

A C-130H Hercules aircraft assigned to the 103rd Airlift Wing flies off into the sunset at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn., Dec. 19, 2013, marking the historic, first locally-generated sortie with the unit’s newly assigned airframe. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)

A C-130H Hercules aircraft assigned to the 103rd Airlift Wing flies off into the sunset at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn., Dec. 19, 2013, marking the historic, first locally-generated sortie with the unit’s newly assigned airframe.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)

A C-130H Hercules aircraft assigned to the 103rd Airlift Wing flies off into the sunset at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn., Dec. 19, 2013, marking the historic, first locally-generated sortie with the unit’s newly assigned airframe. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)

A C-130H Hercules aircraft assigned to the 103rd Airlift Wing lifts off Dec. 19, 2013, marking the first locally-generated sortie with the unit’s new airframe at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)

A C-130H Hercules aircraft assigned to the 103rd Airlift Wing lifts off Dec. 19, 2013, marking the first locally-generated sortie with the unit’s new airframe at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)

Master Sgt. Jon Favreau, a crew chief assigned to the 103rd Maintenance Group, guides a C-130H Hercules aircraft assigned to the 103rd Airlift Wing toward the runway moments before the first locally-generated sortie with the unit’s new airframe at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn., Dec. 19, 2013.  The aircrew was comprised of Airmen from the Connecticut Air National Guard, the New York Air National Guard and the U.S.A.F.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)

Master Sgt. Jon Favreau, a crew chief assigned to the 103rd Maintenance Group, guides a C-130H Hercules aircraft assigned to the 103rd Airlift Wing toward the runway moments before the first locally-generated sortie with the unit’s new airframe at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn., Dec. 19, 2013. The aircrew was comprised of Airmen from the Connecticut Air National Guard, the New York Air National Guard and the U.S.A.F. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)

Aircrew aboard a C-130H Hercules aircraft assigned to the 103rd Airlift Wing prepare to taxi moments before conducting the first locally-generated sortie with the unit’s new airframe at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn., Dec. 19, 2013.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)

Aircrew aboard a C-130H Hercules aircraft assigned to the 103rd Airlift Wing prepare to taxi moments before conducting the first locally-generated sortie with the unit’s new airframe at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn., Dec. 19, 2013. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)

Members of the 103rd Maintenance Group complete pre-flight preparations before the first locally-generated sortie for a C-130H Hercules Dec. 19, 2013, at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn.  The aircrew was comprised of Airmen from the Connecticut Air National Guard, the New York Air National Guard and the U.S.A.F.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)

Members of the 103rd Maintenance Group complete pre-flight preparations before the first locally-generated sortie for a C-130H Hercules Dec. 19, 2013, at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn. The aircrew was comprised of Airmen from the Connecticut Air National Guard, the New York Air National Guard and the U.S.A.F. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)

Members of the 103rd Maintenance Group complete pre-flight preparations before the first locally-generated sortie for a C-130H Hercules Dec. 19, 2013, at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn.  The aircrew was comprised of Airmen from the Connecticut Air National Guard, the New York Air National Guard and the U.S.A.F.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)

Members of the 103rd Maintenance Group complete pre-flight preparations before the first locally-generated sortie for a C-130H Hercules Dec. 19, 2013, at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn. The aircrew was comprised of Airmen from the Connecticut Air National Guard, the New York Air National Guard and the U.S.A.F. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)

Master Sgt. Jean Booth, a loadmaster assigned to the 139th Airlift Squadron, completes pre-flight preparations before embarking on the first locally-generated sortie aboard a C-130H Hercules aircraft Dec. 19, 2013, at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn.  The aircrew was comprised of Airmen from the Connecticut Air National Guard, the New York Air National Guard and the U.S.A.F.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)
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Master Sgt. Jean Booth, a loadmaster assigned to the 139th Airlift Squadron, completes pre-flight preparations before embarking on the first locally-generated sortie aboard a C-130H Hercules aircraft Dec. 19, 2013, at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn. The aircrew was comprised of Airmen from the Connecticut Air National Guard, the New York Air National Guard and the U.S.A.F. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)

Master Sgt. Jean Booth, a loadmaster assigned to the 139th Airlift Squadron, Tech. Sgt. Brian Hinckley and Master Sgt. Jon Favreau, crew chiefs assigned to the 103rd Maintenance Group, complete pre-flight preparations for the first locally-generated sortie aboard a C-130H Hercules aircraft Dec. 19, 2013, at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn.  The aircrew was comprised of Airmen from the Connecticut Air National Guard, the New York Air National Guard and the U.S.A.F.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)
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Master Sgt. Jean Booth, a loadmaster assigned to the 139th Airlift Squadron, Tech. Sgt. Brian Hinckley and Master Sgt. Jon Favreau, crew chiefs assigned to the 103rd Maintenance Group, complete pre-flight preparations for the first locally-generated sortie aboard a C-130H Hercules aircraft Dec. 19, 2013, at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn. The aircrew was comprised of Airmen from the Connecticut Air National Guard, the New York Air National Guard and the U.S.A.F. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)

Master Sgt. Jean Booth, a loadmaster assigned to the 139th Airlift Squadron, and Tech. Sgt. Brian Hinckley, a crew chief assigned to the 103rd Maintenance Group, complete pre-flight preparations for the first locally-generated sortie aboard a C-130H Hercules aircraft assigned to the 103rd Airlift Wing on Dec. 19, 2013, at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn.    The aircrew was comprised of Airmen from the Connecticut Air National Guard, the New York Air National Guard and the U.S.A.F.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)
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Master Sgt. Jean Booth, a loadmaster assigned to the 139th Airlift Squadron, and Tech. Sgt. Brian Hinckley, a crew chief assigned to the 103rd Maintenance Group, complete pre-flight preparations for the first locally-generated sortie aboard a C-130H Hercules aircraft assigned to the 103rd Airlift Wing on Dec. 19, 2013, at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn. The aircrew was comprised of Airmen from the Connecticut Air National Guard, the New York Air National Guard and the U.S.A.F. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)

Senior Master Sgt. Bill Westling, a flight engineer assigned to the 118th Airlift Squadron, and Maj. Josh Panis, a pilot assigned to the 118th Airlift Squadron, complete pre-flight preparations before embarking on the first locally generated sortie aboard a C-130H Hercules aircraft Dec. 19, 2013, at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn.  The aircrew was comprised of Airmen from the Connecticut Air National Guard, the New York Air National Guard and the U.S.A.F.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)
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Senior Master Sgt. Bill Westling, a flight engineer assigned to the 118th Airlift Squadron, and Maj. Josh Panis, a pilot assigned to the 118th Airlift Squadron, complete pre-flight preparations before embarking on the first locally generated sortie aboard a C-130H Hercules aircraft Dec. 19, 2013, at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn. The aircrew was comprised of Airmen from the Connecticut Air National Guard, the New York Air National Guard and the U.S.A.F. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)

Maj. Josh Panis, a pilot assigned to the 118th Airlift Squadron, completes final preparations before embarking on the first locally-generated sortie aboard a C-130H Hercules aircraft Dec. 19, 2013, at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn.  The aircrew was comprised of Airmen from the Connecticut Air National Guard, the New York Air National Guard and the U.S.A.F.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)
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Maj. Josh Panis, a pilot assigned to the 118th Airlift Squadron, completes final preparations before embarking on the first locally-generated sortie aboard a C-130H Hercules aircraft Dec. 19, 2013, at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn. The aircrew was comprised of Airmen from the Connecticut Air National Guard, the New York Air National Guard and the U.S.A.F. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)

Technical Sgt. Ernest Descheneaux, a crew chief assigned to the 103rd Maintenance Group, completes pre-flight preparations before the first locally-generated sortie aboard a C-130H Hercules aircraft Dec. 19, 2013, at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn.  The aircrew was comprised of Airmen from the Connecticut Air National Guard, the New York Air National Guard and the U.S.A.F.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)
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Technical Sgt. Ernest Descheneaux, a crew chief assigned to the 103rd Maintenance Group, completes pre-flight preparations before the first locally-generated sortie aboard a C-130H Hercules aircraft Dec. 19, 2013, at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn. The aircrew was comprised of Airmen from the Connecticut Air National Guard, the New York Air National Guard and the U.S.A.F. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)

Master Sgt. Jean Booth, a loadmaster assigned to the 139th Airlift Squadron, completes pre-flight preparations before embarking on the first locally-generated sortie aboard a C-130H Hercules aircraft Dec. 19, 2013, at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn.  The aircrew was comprised of Airmen from the Connecticut Air National Guard, the New York Air National Guard and the U.S.A.F.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)
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Master Sgt. Jean Booth, a loadmaster assigned to the 139th Airlift Squadron, completes pre-flight preparations before embarking on the first locally-generated sortie aboard a C-130H Hercules aircraft Dec. 19, 2013, at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn. The aircrew was comprised of Airmen from the Connecticut Air National Guard, the New York Air National Guard and the U.S.A.F. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)

Col. Frank Detorie, commander of the 103rd Airlift Wing, greets Capt. Rachel Leimbach, a navigator assigned to the 139th Airlift Squadron, moments before the launch of the first locally-generated sortie aboard a C-130H Hercules aircraft Dec. 19, 2013, at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn. The aircrew was comprised of Airmen from the Connecticut Air National Guard, the New York Air National Guard and the U.S.A.F.    (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)
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Col. Frank Detorie, commander of the 103rd Airlift Wing, greets Capt. Rachel Leimbach, a navigator assigned to the 139th Airlift Squadron, moments before the launch of the first locally-generated sortie aboard a C-130H Hercules aircraft Dec. 19, 2013, at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn. The aircrew was comprised of Airmen from the Connecticut Air National Guard, the New York Air National Guard and the U.S.A.F. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)

Capt. Rachel Leimbach, a navigator assigned to the 139th Airlift Squadron, Maj. Josh Panis, a pilot assigned to the 118th Airlift Squadron, Lt. Col. Kenneth LaTona, acting commander of the 103rd Operations Group and Lt. Col. Steve Yandik, aircraft commander from the 139th Airlift Squadron, walk across a wintery flightline moments before the launch of the first locally-generated sortie aboard a C-130H Hercules aircraft Dec. 19, 2013, at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn.  The aircrew was comprised of Airmen from the Connecticut Air National Guard, the New York Air National Guard and the U.S.A.F.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)
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Capt. Rachel Leimbach, a navigator assigned to the 139th Airlift Squadron, Maj. Josh Panis, a pilot assigned to the 118th Airlift Squadron, Lt. Col. Kenneth LaTona, acting commander of the 103rd Operations Group and Lt. Col. Steve Yandik, aircraft commander from the 139th Airlift Squadron, walk across a wintery flightline moments before the launch of the first locally-generated sortie aboard a C-130H Hercules aircraft Dec. 19, 2013, at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn. The aircrew was comprised of Airmen from the Connecticut Air National Guard, the New York Air National Guard and the U.S.A.F. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)

Maj. Josh Panis, a pilot assigned to the 118th Airlift Squadron, Capt. Rachel Leimbach, a navigator assigned to the 139th Airlift Squadron and Master Sgt. Jean Booth, a loadmaster assigned to the 139th Airlift Squadron, go over final preparations before embarking on the first locally-generated sortie aboard a C-130H Hercules aircraft Dec. 19, 2013, at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn.  The aircrew was comprised of Airmen from the Connecticut Air National Guard, the New York Air National Guard and the U.S.A.F.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)
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Maj. Josh Panis, a pilot assigned to the 118th Airlift Squadron, Capt. Rachel Leimbach, a navigator assigned to the 139th Airlift Squadron and Master Sgt. Jean Booth, a loadmaster assigned to the 139th Airlift Squadron, go over final preparations before embarking on the first locally-generated sortie aboard a C-130H Hercules aircraft Dec. 19, 2013, at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn. The aircrew was comprised of Airmen from the Connecticut Air National Guard, the New York Air National Guard and the U.S.A.F. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)

Col. Frank Detorie, commander of the 103rd Airlift Wing, peers out the window of a C-130H Hercules aircraft Dec. 19, 2013, on the ramp at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn., as he waits for the inbound aircrew scheduled to launch the first locally-generated sortie with the unit’s new airframe. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)
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Col. Frank Detorie, commander of the 103rd Airlift Wing, peers out the window of a C-130H Hercules aircraft Dec. 19, 2013, on the ramp at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn., as he waits for the inbound aircrew scheduled to launch the first locally-generated sortie with the unit’s new airframe. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Bryon Turner)

BRADLEY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE - East Granby, Conn. -- The 103rd Airlift Wing reached a historic milestone when it launched the first locally-generated sortie with one of the unit's newly-assigned C-130H Hercules aircraft on Dec. 19, 2013.

The Flying Yankees took flight shortly before 5:00 p.m., soaring off into a stunning winter sunset over the Bradley Air National Guard Base with a local aircrew augmented by members of the New York Air National Guard and a member of the U.S.A.F.

"It was very exciting to be a part of the first local launch," said Senior Master Sgt. Bill Westling, a flight engineer assigned to the 118th Airlift Squadron. "From the preflight to takeoff without any hiccups is a testament to the team effort from maintenance and ops."

The composite crew was required to fill critical roles aboard the C-130H as members of the Connecticut Air National Guard continue to train for the new mission.
Maintainers and aircrew deftly completed final adjustments moments before take-off as other Airmen, drawn to the wintery flightline, watched this historic moment unfold before their eyes with great anticipation.

"Being in the seat for engine start with familiar faces on our own flightline was exciting," said Maj. Joshua Panis, a pilot assigned to the 118th Airlift Squadron. "The fact that we were able to get airborne on our first attempt at a locally launched C-130 line speaks mountains to the amount of time, effort and training that everyone on base has dedicated themselves to in support of our new mission."

With the next C-130H aircraft scheduled to arrive in January, followed by four additional aircraft, and more trained aircrew members returning to Connecticut in the weeks and months to come, the flightline and the skies above are poised for increased activity and the Flying Yankees are ready.
"I look forward to the future here at Bradley," said Westling.