April 27, 2018 (by A1C Gabrielle Spalding) - To distinguish this milestone, Team Yokota gathered in front of the 374th Airlift Wing Headquarters building for the unveiling of a C-130J Super Hercules statue, April 27, 2018.
Yokota Airmen fold the American flag during a retreat ceremony at Yokota AB, April 27, 2018. The ceremony was held as part the unveiling of a C-130J Super Hercules statue event, marking the completion of the transition from the C-130H to the J model. [USAF photo by A1C Gabrielle Spalding]
"This transition has been a four year project," said Col. Kenneth E. Moss, 374th Airlift Wing commander. "The statue is a physical representation of the completed transition to the world's newest advanced tactical airlifter in the Indo-Asia region."
The statue, put together and displayed by the 374th Civil Engineering Squadron, was a gift from Lockheed Martin, builders of the C-130 aircraft, as a token of good will.
During the event, Col. Sean Robertson, 374th Maintenance Group commander, spoke about what it means for the completion of the C-130J fleet.
"In order to maintain Yokota's importance in capability to answer calls from Pacific Command and our allies, it's time for a new work-horse," said Robertson. "And with that, we say goodbye to the C-130H and [welcome] the world's premier tactical airlifter, the C-130J Super Hercules."
For the more than 11,000 men and women stationed at Yokota AB and those who visit, the statue stands as a public display of the air power provided by the AW to the Pacific theater.
"Today is about celebrating the legacy of Yokota and the continuation of its important role in this region," Robertson said. "To look to the future as Yokota continues to hold a critical role as the Pacific's premier power projection platform."