July 6, 2017 (by A1C Juan Torres) - The C-130H Hercules has ensured the 374th Airlift Wing remains the primary Western Pacific airlift hub for peacetime and contingency operations. Continuing this legacy is its newer model the C-130J Super Hercules, which has completed its first operational mission by transporting personnel and cargo for their sister service, July 1, 2017.
Airmen assigned to the 374th AW at Yokota AB, load cargo on to a C-130J #15-5813 from 36 AS during Yokota’s first C-130J operational mission, June 30, 2017, at Manila, Philippines. The mission highlighted Yokota’s C-130J increased airlift capabilities. [USAF photo by A1C Juan Torres]
The four cargo pallets containing U.S. military training equipment, weighed approximately 12,000 pounds, and were transported from near Clark Air Base, Philippines, back to Yokota Air Base, Japan.
With a 30 percent increase in capability compared to its previous model, the C-130J can fly higher, faster, with less fuel burn and carry more cargo. Thus, being able to accomplish Yokota’s airlift mission with a significant reduction in time and resources.
"This was our opportunity to showcase to headquarters that the aircrew and maintainers are ready to hit the road and bring that capability to Pacific Air Forces," said Maj. Chris Dolby, 36th Airlift Squadron C-130J pilot and aircraft commander.
With Yokota continuously transitioning to using the Super Hercules’ and phasing out the C-130Hs by early 2018, the C-130J will continue to help the U.S. military strengthen alliances and partnerships with other countries throughout the Indo-Asia Pacific Region.
"The C-130s at Yokota has been historically at the forefront of international engagements with our partner nations throughout south-east Asia," said Dolby. "Having the J-model operational at Yokota for U.S. forces really helps solidify these partnerships."