U.S. Air Mobility Command Removes Tail Numbers And Unit Markings From Aircraft For OPSEC


A U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules aircraft starts engines at the Luis Muniz Marin International Airport in Carolina, Puerto Rico, Feb. 18, 2023. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Courtney Sebastianelli)

C-130s and KC-135s have been spotted flying in a plain grey livery with low-visibility USAF roundels and a small US flag on the tail.

The U.S. Air Force Air Mobility Command is making a drastic change to its fleet of cargo and tanker aircraft, removing all identification markings, including tail numbers, tail flashes, unit markings and the iconic U.S. Air Force writing usually found on the fuselage. The AMC, in fact, decided to remove all the identifying information from aircraft for operational security (OPSEC) reasons, leaving the aircraft wearing a plain grey livery with a small US flag on the tail and low-visibility USAF roundels.

“We operate across the globe every day, often supporting sensitive movements of people and cargo. Understandably, we have concerns about the operational security impacts to these missions in the modern era of on-demand, real-time information,” AMC says in a statement. “Subdued paint schemes that limit identifiable information is one way we are taking a hard look at how we operate to ensure our ability to continue to deliver for America and our allies and partners around the world.”

Photos published on the DVIDS (Defense Visual Information Distribution Service) network already show C-130Js and a KC-135 with the removed markings in February. The C-130s are deployed to Puerto Rico supporting Operation Forward Tiger, an Air Forces Southern exercise designed to increase combat readiness alongside humanitarian assistance and disaster response capabilities with U.S. partners and allies throughout the Caribbean. The KC-135 is flying with the 509th Weapons Squadron, a geographically separated unit of Nellis AFB’s 57th Wing, at Fairchild Air Force Base.

AMC already did a similar, but less radical, change when the… Source theaviationist.com

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