August 11, 2021 (by Julie Briden-Garcia) - The 136th Airlift Wing Texas Air National Guard, part of the Texas Military Department, received its first of eight C-130J Super Hercules aircraft on July 24, 2021, at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas.
USAF C-130J-30 #17-5900 from 181 AS is the first J-Model to be delivered to the 136th AW. [USAF photo]
During a Welcoming Reception, the aircraft was dedicated to Congresswoman Kay Granger and officially named, "The Kay Granger."
n her January e-newsletter, Congresswoman Granger, also a former Mayor of Fort Worth, commented on how proud she was that the wing was chosen to the new upgrade. "The Air Force's decision comes after years of competition and evaluation of dozens of military bases," Granger said. "Following my visit to the base earlier this year and seeing firsthand how the Texas Air National Guard and Texas Military Department were prepared to utilize these cutting-edge aircraft, I knew the 136th was the right choice."
For the past four decades, the wing has flown a version of the C-130 Hercules. Ever since its 1978 conversion to Hercs, it's been the wing's mission to move the people, equipment, and materiel it takes to fight a war. This J-model airframe upgrade further enables that mission and aligns the wing to the National Guard Bureau objective – to continue to modernize equipment, systems and processes to remain deployable, sustainable, and interoperable.
The C-130J is the latest addition to the C-130 fleet and has replaced aging C-130Es and some of the high time C-130Hs. The C-130J incorporates state-of-the-art technology, which reduces manpower requirements, lowers operating and support costs, and provides life-cycle cost savings over earlier C-130 models. This tactical transport aircraft has proven itself in various types of missions, and in the harshest operating conditions, due in part to its uniquely adaptable platform available in approximately a dozen different configurations.
During his opening comments, General (ret) Gary North, Vice President Customer Requirements Lockheed Martin Aeronautics said, "I've seen a lot of C-130s in my lifetime and the C-130J is the most advanced Hercules ever designed, produced, flown, and supported. The Hercules has always been a steady resource … ready for any task."
The ceremony's distinguished visitor list included the guest of honor Congresswoman Kay Granger, 12th District Representative and Lead Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, as well as Maj Gen Tracy Norris, The Adjutant General of Texas, Gen. (ret) North, Maj. Gen. Tom Suelzer, Deputy Adjutant General – Air, and recently retired Maj. Gen. Dawn Farrell.
As a National Guard unit, the 136th Airlift Wing has a dual role of serving the State of Texas under the command of the Governor during peace time and state emergencies, and becoming part of the active duty forces under the command of the President during wartime or other local or national emergencies. As Col. Keith Williams, 136AW commander, explains the wing's mission is to provide highly trained, equipped and motivated military forces for worldwide combat and peacetime tasking supporting Texas and the Nation.
"This C-130J aircraft will allow the 136th Airlift Wing to continue the mission of tactical airlift, but with greater capability," said Williams. "We will be able to fly faster and with more payload. Its performance is measurably greater in hotter temperatures and higher density altitudes. It is the aircraft that this wing will fly for the next several decades. Representative Granger, I promise you that we will operate and maintain these aircraft to our utmost ability endeavoring to make you and the citizens of Texas proud."
Close to home and around the world … the 136th Airlift Wing Texas Air National Guard will continue to support Texans and their communities with the mighty Super Hercules by being … always ready, always there!