Lockheed Martin -130H Hercules
A97-010 – ‘Mambo 34’
Number 36 Squadron
In the vicinity of Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Middle East Area of Operations, 1336Z 24 April 2003
The initial deployment of 36 Squadron aircraft to the Middle East Area of Operations in support of Operations Bastille, Falconer and Catalyst consisted of two C-130H aircraft, A97-009 and A97-012. The aircraft depicted in this print, A97-010, arrived in the theatre conducting a sustainment mission from Australia when the decision was made to retain the aircraft to supplement the two aircraft that were heavily involved in the provision of combat air mobility support in Iraq. Evidence of a temporary battle damage repair to the sloping longeron at the rear of the aircraft remained following a ground loading incident sustained during a United States’ Special Forces insertion mission in Afghanistan in 2002. Toward the end of the initial 36 Squadron deployment in support of Operation Falconer, A97-010 was primarily flown by crews conducting day missions in support of Australian Special Forces units in Western Iraq. A97-010 was officially retired from service with the Royal Australian Air Force in December 2012.