Big ‘Pigs’ of the Pampas

The C-130 Hercules is the workhorse of many air arms, not least with the Fuerza Aérea Argentina. Here it has performed sterling service in some incredible and unexpected roles, as Esteban G Brea discovers.

Up close and personal with KC-130H TC-69 of the Brigada Aérea. Delivered to Argentina in May 1979, TC-69 is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm - having undergone an avionics upgrade with L3 Communications Integrated Systems it was redelivered to the FAA in early 2016.
All photos Esteban G Brea unless stated

Argentine military aviation was born in the small town of El Palomar. Sitting on the edge of the city of Buenos Aires, its past has given it a rich history and it retains its importance today as the home of the I Brigada Aérea (1st Air Brigade) of the Fuerza Aérea Argentina (FAA, Argentine Air Force). This wing is the FAA’s main transport unit, with the resident Grupo Aéreo 1 (1st Air Group) consisting of a pair of squadrons. I Escuadrón flies three variants of the Hercules, with II Escuadrón being the last custodian of the Fokker F28-1000C, the final example of which was being reactivated last November.

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