Airmen use explosives to dismantle C-130 in Iraq

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Airmen used explosives to dismantle a C-130 Hercules stuck in a barren field northeast of Baghdad International Airport, July 7.

The transport aircraft has been there since June 27, when its crew was forced to perform an emergency landing. The aircraft was deemed a security concern and it was decided that it would be easier to transport if it were dismantled.

Senior Master Sgt. Pervis King, the 447th Air Expeditionary Group explosive ordnance disposal superintendent at Sather Air Base, Iraq, said his team was fired up to perform such a unique mission.

"My team was kind of excited about going out there and explosively cutting up the aircraft," he said. "They were ready to make it happen."

In fact it was something the senior noncommissioned officer had never seen in his career before. 

The team of maintainers, EOD, coalition and Iraqi forces and civilians worked in high gear. After securing the perimeter, they setup the aircraft for its final review and the first controlled detonation.

"I personally haven't had a chance to cut up an aircraft," he said. "I've been out on many aircraft crashes. Most times they just kind of... don't land as nicely as this one did in the field." 

Sergeant King said that a prime concern of his was to perform the mission safely. In addition to using the explosives correctly, there was the possibility of an attack by insurgents. There was perimeter established to ensure that the plane disposal mission was not interrupted. 

After three more detonations, the charred metal of the C-130 was removed.

Lt. Col. Robert Brisson, the on-scene commander, said that the mission was a success because of the contributions of many different people.

"There are so many people involved in this, he said. "The whole effort today was to make sure we did everything safely and effectively." 

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