The first of 14 Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Super Hercules transports that will be assigned to the U.S. Air Force (USAF) installation at Yokota Air Base, Japan, departed the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics facility here on the 24th of February 2017. This marks the first U.S. Air Force combat delivery C-130J-30 to be permanently assigned to the Pacific region.

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.

George Shultz, Vice President and General Manager, Air Mobility & Maritime Missions at Lockheed Martin, stated: “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.

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On the 9th of February, employees who designed and built the aircraft celebrated the new Super Hercules with a traditional "rollout" ceremony held at the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics facility. Team members walked LM-100J out of the building that is home to the Super Hercules production line. The next stop for the milestone Super Hercules is the flightline, where it will prepare for its first flight in spring 2017.
 

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.”

Lockheed Martin said that 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.

USAF 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.