The United States has handed over a donated C-130E Hercules transport aircraft to Ethiopia.
US Ambassador Michael Raynor delivered the aircraft on behalf of the United States Government to Ethiopian Air Force Head, General Adem Mohammed on 6 June.
The US embassy in Addis Ababa said the C-130 will further enhance Ethiopia’s capacity to play a vital role in regional peacekeeping missions, enabling Ethiopia to move humanitarian supplies where they are needed in a timely manner and protect the lives of civilians in conflict areas.
“Our part in supporting Ethiopia in this vital role is relatively humble, but we’re proud that the training, logistical support, and equipment we provide helps Ethiopia take on this important task,” Raynor said.
“This aircraft represents a deep bond between our two countries, and our shared pledge to play constructive leadership roles on the world stage,” said Raynor. “The U.S. commitment to this partnership is stronger than ever, and I look forward to building upon it in the days ahead.”
Brigadier General Deiter Bareihs of the US Air Forces Europe and Africa also took part in the ceremony along with other representatives from the U.S. armed forces. He said, “We are excited to deliver this C-130 at a time of such great optimism. This handover pays homage to our long-valued friendship and lays the foundation for new possibilities for cooperation and interoperability.”
“The United States values Ethiopia’s role in peacekeeping operations and ongoing commitment as the largest contributor to UN Peacekeeping forces in the world,” the US embassy said.
It appears the handover is for a C-130E that was originally donated in 2014 and subsequently refurbished. Earlier reports suggested it may be a second C-130 but this now seems unlikely.
The Ethiopian Air Force’s 15 Squadron has flown C-130s since 1998 when it received two former US Air Force C-130Bs and later two commercial L100-30 variants that were previously operated by the Ethiopian Government. It is not clear if the aircraft are still operational.
* This article was upated to reflect the fact that the handover is likely for the C-130E that was donated in 2014.