USAF Wolfhound uses highway in Latvia
During the night of 10 to 11 May 2022, a USAF C-146A Wolfhound landed and took off on the A9 highway near Biksti, in western Latvia.
Normally based with USAF's 919th Special Operations Wing at Duke Field (FL), the derative of the Dornier Do328 with serial number 12-3085 (construction number 3085), was the first plane that landed on a highway in Latvia.
Latvia's A9 highway (by international standards, just a road) near Biksti, in western Latvia, was used as part of the annual US Special Operations Forces training exercise Trojan Footprint.
The wingspan of the C-146A is 21 metres, whereas the width of the A9 road is 8.5 metres. To facilitate the landing several road signs were removed so the wings would not hit them. The particular Wolfhound was seen on 12 May heading towards Krakow (Poland) and later on it continued towards Debrecen (Hungary).
The Wolfhound’s primary mission is to provide US Special Operations Command flexible and responsive operational movement of small teams and cargo in support of Theater Special Operations Commands. Airlift missions are conducted by Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) aircrews to prepared and semi-prepared airfields around the world.
The C-146A is a twin-engine, high-wing aircraft equipped with a configurable cabin capable of various passenger and cargo combinations, as well as casualty evacuation missions. The aircraft can carry a maximum of 27 passengers, 6,000 pounds of cargo, or up to four patients.
Next to the 919th Special Operations Wing, the type is also operated by the 492nd Special Operations Wing, also based at Duke Field. The 492nd SOW organises, trains, educates and equips forces to conduct special operations missions.
According to the Scramble database the following C-146As are operational:
FY97: 97-3091 and 97-3093
FY10: 10-3026, -3068 and -3077
FY11: 11-3013, -3016, -3031, -3075, -3097 and -3104
FY12: 12-3040, -3047, -3050, -3060 and -3085
FY16: 16-3020 and -3025
Photos by Latvian MoD / Radar overview: @ALandewers on Twitter