This episode of Air Force Now begins with a transport flight crew flying over South Korea, explaining their mission as part of Military Airlift Command. The rest of the film shows these valiant pilots working in all sorts of weather and tactical conditions to deliver supplies and troops in the Asian theater. The 834th Airlift Command is shown in Saigon, Vietnam with its C-130 aircraft. Beginning at about the 12 minute mark, combat use of the C-130 is shown in Vietnam with aircraft landing under NVA fire. Some of this incredible footage shows air strikes taking place nearby while the C-130s are on the ground in support of operations. Also shown is air-to-ground resupply of forces in Vietnam by parachute, and paratroops making jumps at the 19:00 mark. Some of the interviews in the film include a tough discussion about body bags being shipped home by MAC (18 minute mark). Evacuation of South Vietnamese wounded is shown at the 20 minute mark.

Established at the height of the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War, MAC provided long-range strategic airlift from the United States to Military Airlift Support Squadrons (MASS) located on Pacific Air Forces bases in the Pacific AOR.

By 1968, MAC military and contract transports were hauling 150,000 passengers and 45,000 tons of cargo monthly to and from Southeast Asia. At first, MAC transports to Vietnam landed regularly only at Tan Son Nhut AB, necessitating considerable transshipment within Vietnam by the Common Service Airlift System. New air bases opened at Da Nang AB and Cam Ranh AB in January 1966, and later at Pleiku AB, Bien Hoa AB, and Phu Cat AB, reducing the need for redistribution.

Major unit movements by MAC aircraft from the United States usually required further airlifts to operating areas by in-country transports. Introduction of the C-5 Galaxy transport in the summer of 1970 created new problems of in-country distribution, since C-5 deliveries were massive, and, initially the planes could land only at Cam Ranh Bay. Eventually, however, C-5s could unload at Tan Son Nhut and elsewhere. Primarily, MAC transports carried high-value cargo such as aircraft and equipment parts, while MAC civilian-contract flights transported passengers to and from the combat zone

Undoubtedly the most important development of MAC during the Vietnam War was the use of the Lockheed C-141 Starlifter as an airborne ambulance evacuating casualties out of South Vietnam to hospitals in Japan, the Philippines and the United States. Generally, patients requiring hospitalization for thirty days or more were moved to offshore hospitals; others were sometimes evacuated to keep an empty-bed reserve of fifty percent in Vietnam. Military Airlift Command transports carried the more serious cases from Clark AB to the United States, and, in 1966, began making patient pickups in Vietnam.

The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built originally by Lockheed, now Lockheed Martin. Capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medivac, and cargo transport aircraft. The versatile airframe has found uses in a variety of other roles, including as a gunship (AC-130), for airborne assault, search and rescue, scientific research support, weather reconnaissance, aerial refueling, maritime patrol, and aerial firefighting. It is now the main tactical airlifter for many military forces worldwide. Over 40 models and variants of the Hercules serve with more than 60 nations.

This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD and 2k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com

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