February 28, 2017 (by Stephanie Stinn) - The first of 14 Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Super Hercules transports that will be assigned to the U.S. Air Force installation at Yokota Air Base, Japan, departed the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics facility on February 24, 2017. This marks the first U.S. Air Force combat delivery C-130J-30 to be permanently assigned to the Pacific region.
USAF C-130J-30 #14-5807 taxies down the runway at the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Marietta, on February 24, 2017, before taking off for Japan. The aircraft is bound for Yokota AB, Japan, and is the first of Yokota’s C-130J projected deliveries. [Lockheed Martin photo by David Key]
The C-130J-30s will be flown by 36th Airlift Squadron crews at Yokota, and the new aircraft will recapitalize the unit's existing C-130H fleet. The C-130Js will be used to support critical peacekeeping and contingency operations in the Western Pacific region, including cargo delivery, troop transport, airdrop and aeromedical missions. The 36th AS - known as the "Eagle Airlifters" - is one of several flying squadrons under the 374th Airlift Wing.
"It is an honor for Lockheed Martin to deliver this milestone C-130J to the Airmen who fly, support and maintain the 374th Airlift Wing's Hercules fleet," said George Shultz, vice president and general manager, Air Mobility & Maritime Missions at Lockheed Martin. "The 374th has a long, distinguished history with the C-130 and its C-130J fleet will continue — and expand — the wing's unmatched and vital airlift capabilities."
The C-130J Super Hercules is the current combat delivery C-130 production variant, offering superior performance and new capabilities, with the range and flexibility for every theater of operations and evolving requirements. The U.S. Air Force operates the largest C-130J fleet in the world and its C-130 crews have been large contributors to the global Super Hercules fleet's more than 1.5 million flight hours.