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Commonwealth Herc crews train for the Bullseye

The winning Canadian drop. Ross Lees photo

The winning Canadian drop. Ross Lees photo

C-130 Hercules aircraft crews from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and United Kingdom trained and engaged in friendly competition in the skies last week during Exercise Bullseye.

The tactical air transport exercise – at 8 Wing, Mountain View and Petawawa – provided members of the Royal Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal New Zealand Air Force (as observers) and the Royal Canadian Air Force a collaborative learning opportunity for tactical operations.

The exercise culminated Friday with a tactical air training portion, where participating nations attempted to hit the “bullseye” with a parachute-rigged cargo box. The Royal Canadian Air Force, which was closest to the mark, took home the Exercise Bullseye trophy.

North Marysburgh from the cockpit of a Herc. - Robert Quaiff photo

North Marysburgh from the cockpit of a Herc. – Robert Quaiff photo

“Exercise Bullseye was an amazing opportunity to was an amazing opportunity to be a part of and witness the drop off of packages at Mountain View,” said PEC Mayor Robert Quaiff, on a Herc with Belleville Mayor Taso Christopher, Quinte West Mayor Jim Harrison and Warden Rick Phillips.”

The C-130J Hercules (designated CC-130J by Canada) is a four-engine, fixed-wing turboprop aircraft that can carry up to 92 combat troopers or 128 non-combat passengers. It is used for a wide range of missions, including troop transport, tactical airlift (both palletized and vehicular cargo) and airborne operations. Highlighting the versatility of this aircraft, crews often train to drop cargo by parachute in order to supply military or humanitarian cargo to areas inaccessible by land.

“It was a great honour to host our Commonwealth partner-nations for the first international Exercise Bullseye to be held since the C-130J Hercules began joining our respective fleets. This year’s exercise was a fantastic opportunity to exercise and showcase the capabilities of this great airframe, its aircrews and its maintainers,”
said Colonel Colin Keiver, 8 Wing Commander.

Exercise Bullseye was an annual exercise from 1975 to 1999, but entered a hiatus while exercise participants transitioned to the new C-130J Hercules from the older C-130H. The new “Hercs” fly faster and higher while carrying heavier loads and burning less fuel. The CC-130J Hercules is flown by 436 Transport Squadron, located at 8 Wing Trenton.

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