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Dear C-130, Sending Love from Scott Air Force Base – Article Display


Reading this may not be for the faint of heart or insecure. If you are either, please stop reading now. This is a heartfelt message to my tribe, the Herk Tribe, with no ill will towards other tribes. I have immense love, admiration, and respect for all of them.



The Hercules aircraft defines me as an American, an Airman, and a Warrior.

It also defines my Service and my Family.

The intense experiences of blue-collar work have shaped me, from throwing chains to running straps and rigging seats. I have participated in missions that pushed me to my limits, together with my team.

Respect for the Hercules, whether abbreviated as Herc or Herk, is crucial.

This aircraft is a symbol of strength and beauty.

I have given my blood, sweat, and tears to carry out its sacred missions and have witnessed the best of America and its people.

I have experienced the most challenging and heartwarming moments that life has to offer.

I have been a part of real sacrifices, which have left their mark on me but made me a better American, Airman, Husband, and Father.

To the various squadrons and teams, such as Hawgs, Yacht Club, Green Hornets, Black Cats, Outlaws, Black Knights, and Cheaters, you are all exceptional. The opportunity to end where it all began, surrounded by the teams that started it all, is truly the best way to close this chapter.

For my Final Final Fini, many years from now, I hope for a mission that honors all the teams that have influenced me:

Dressed in black boots, a white T-shirt, and a vintage flight suit with a Screaming Eagle patch on my right shoulder.

Flying the AWADS bird, 70-1274, with Billy Ouber as my Crew Chief, adorned with a Texas tail flash.

Mark Fritzsche signing off on my flight orders and CRM, and Doug Kruelen’s reminder of “don’t suck” as I board the crew bus.

With BigNo Oviedo as my Co and Marco Martinez as my Nav, along with Kevin Johnson as my Eng, Tommy G and Kevin Letz as my Loadies.

An intense mission with the 173rd Personnel Combat loaded, making it a night operation, in formation as lead, with me as Mission Commander.

Let’s be fully immersed in the mission and embrace the true essence of the Herk beast.

With precise checklists, timely warnings, and an exhilarating AWADS run-in cadence.

A traditional approach with no NVGs, flying at 600 feet AGL visually, marking the DZ with a block letter A, and maintaining alignment with 4L drift.

Feeling the anticipation and excitement as the airborne boots shuffle towards the doors, sensing the shift in CG as they exit, and hearing the comforting sounds of static lines doing their job.

Combat escape with no excuses, witnessing the chute silhouettes in line as they depart.

Efficient and swift recovery, followed by a majestic taxi to park with inboards shut down and outboards in low speed, making the outboards sing that familiar groan.

Greeted by familiar faces like Tater, Binjo, and El Shirto, and many more.

A thorough debrief with respect and camaraderie, concluding with a visit to the EGUN Bravo Bar to celebrate the moment with the crew.

Grateful for the Herk, the Crew, and the Fly, Fix, Support Team.

Thankful for the mindset, mission, and heritage of the Green Hornets, Roo’s, Blue Tail Flies, and Black Knights.

Fulfilled. Content. Grateful.

Thank you, Herk Nation, all squadrons, all generations.

Cheering you on for your continued successes always.

Clear #3…Let’s Fly!

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Caleb Alexander

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