June 1, 2017 (by Stephanie Stinn) - Airmen from the Alaska Air National Guard today accepted the first HC-130J Combat King II assigned to an U.S. Air National Guard unit at the Lockheed Martin facility on June 1st.
The Alaskan Air National Guard received its first HC-130J Combat King #14-5815 which departed for 211th RQS on June 1, 2017. [Lockheed Martin photo by Amanda Mills]
This HC-130J will be operated by the 211th Rescue Squadron (RQS), 176th Wing stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. The 211th RQS previously operated legacy HC-130P aircraft to support personnel recovery missions in Alaska and the Pacific Theater. These aircraft also act as aerial refuelers, providing support to the HH-60 Pave Hawk search-and-rescue helicopters that are also assigned to the 176th Wing. This is the first of four HC-130Js that will be delivered to the Alaska Guard.
"The delivery of this HC-130J Combat King II represents a new era for both the Air National Guard and the Alaska Guard. This aircraft provides the increased capabilities and enhanced performance that is essential for these Airmen to support their search and rescue mission," said George Shultz, vice president and general manager, Air Mobility & Maritime Missions at Lockheed Martin. "These men and women live their motto – 'That Others May Live.' We're proud the HC‑130J Combat King fleet plays an essential role in supporting this commitment."
The HC-130J replaces HC-130N/P aircraft as the only dedicated fixed-wing personnel recovery platform in the Air Force inventory.
The HC-130J supports missions in all-weather and geographic environments, including reaching austere locations. The HC-130J is also tasked for airdrop, airland, helicopter air-to-air refueling and forward-area ground refueling missions. It also supports humanitarian aid operations, disaster response, security cooperation/aviation advisory, emergency aeromedical evacuation and noncombatant evacuation operations. The HC-130J is also operated by active duty Air Combat Command personnel recovery units.
The HC-130J is one of eight production variants of the C-130J Super Hercules, which is the world's most proven and versatile airlifter.