March 13, 2007 (by Lockheed Martin) - USAF received the first C-130J to an Air Mobility Command active duty combat delivery unit. After accepting the new C-130J, General Duncan McNabb, Commander of Air Mobility Command (AMC), personally flew the aircraft to Little Rock AFB, Ark., where it will operate as part of the 463rd Airlift Group.
“The C-130J is one of the crown jewels of air mobility and the workhorse of the fleet,” said General McNabb, during today's ceremony. “I am so exited about this aircraft and what it will do for air mobility.”
“The Hercules has today recorded yet another significant milestone in airlift history,” said David Haines, Lockheed Martin's vice president of C-130 programs. “The C-130J Super Hercules will now begin a new era for AMC, providing the command greater flexibility, improved reliability and a huge increase in tactical airlift strength. The C-130J is currently operating around the world in high tempo combat and humanitarian operations, bringing a whole new capability to intra-theater airlift that represents significant force multiplication for the combatant commander.”
The 463rd currently operates a fleet of 13 C-130Es and 14 C-130Hs. The new C-130J is capable of generating much greater operational efficiencies than the older C-130s by flying farther, faster, with more payload and higher reliability. Additionally, the C-130J only requires three crew members for most missions so fewer flight crew members are exposed to potential threats in theater. C-130Js are currently deployed in two combat theaters; are being flown by both U.S. and allied operators; and are operating at a very high tempo efficiently and reliably. C-130Js are being used daily for troop and equipment re-supply via ground delivery and airdrop, for air-to-air refueling, ground refueling and humanitarian relief. The worldwide fleet of C-130Js has now exceeded 340,000 flight hours US Department of Defense Order Four C-130Js.