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News > Hurlburt Airman sets flying record
Hurlburt Airman sets flying record

Posted 10/5/2010   Updated 10/5/2010 Email story   Print story


by Staff Sgt. Sarah Martinez
1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

10/5/2010 - HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- Many members of the Air Force fly in military planes everyday but only a few are in the air so much that they break records. A Hurlburt Field navigator broke a record as he landed after a routine flight Sep. 27.

Lt. Col. Robert Starnes, 15th Special Operations Squadron navigator, broke the record of flying hours with the MC-130H Combat Talon II aircraft by accumulating more than 5,000 hours.

"I feel a sense of accomplishment," stated Colonel Starnes. "I set this goal 10 years ago and it finally came to fruition with the help of men and women of the 15th SOS."

According to Colonel Starnes, he has been flying for 23 years. While a dependent in the Philippines he had several friends who flew C-130s, which influenced him to become a member of the U.S. Air Force, specifically to fly C-130s.

Airmen stationed at Hurlburt Field work side by side in all different types of missions but not all missions impact Airmen in the same way.

Colonel Starnes stated the mission that sticks out the most was when he participated in the Tsunami relief effort in Thailand and Banda Aceh, Indonesia in 2004.

"We flew 16 to 18 hours each day to deliver relief supplies and medical assistance to the local populace," Colonel Starnes stated. "Helping people in disasters will always be a memory I cherish."

Flying more than 5,000 hours is a great accomplishment for any person to achieve but all things must come to an end.

"I am finished," Colonel Starnes stated. "(I'm) retiring in December."

10/8/2010 8:23:56 PM ET
I remember flying with Brooks during several assignments...truly an outstanding member of the MC-130H community who was second to none...his mentorship guided hundreds of Talon II aircrew members who the years. Best of luck in retirement Brooksvr Trevor Benitone GS-32 Lt COl USAF
Trevor Benitone, Washington DC
10/8/2010 2:39:01 PM ET
5000 hours That's commendable but no record for a c-130 Nav. Lots of Nav' have way more time than that maybe it's a record in type RZ Hill
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