October 30, 2006 (by Lockheed Martin) - Italian Air Force transport fleet of 22 C-130J operated by the 46th Air Brigade has reached 50,000 flight hours. The milestone was achieved Wednesday, October 4 with aircraft number 45 which was piloted by Colonel Franco Giuri.
The accumulated time is equivalent to 2,083 consecutive flight days, or 562 times around the world. Two million pounds of equipment and 100,000 passengers were moved during those 50,000 hours. The time also covers hundreds of humanitarian support missions.
A recent article published by the Italian Air Force states that "a great effort was made in terms of personnel employment and management of the maintenance of these aircraft that are so technologically advanced. They can be considered the best products for cargo transportation in terms of reliability, versatility and robustness."
The first Italian C-130J was delivered in August 2000, with the 22nd and final aircraft delivered in December 2004. Italy was the first country to deploy the C-130J into combat and over the years has established many of the operational tactics now used by other C-130J operators.