New Super Hercules on its way to Yokota Air Base in Japan
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — The first of Yokota’s 14 new C-130J Super Hercules transport planes is headed for Japan, the aircraft’s manufacturer said.
The aircraft, which left a Lockheed Martin aeronautics facility in Marietta, Ga., on Feb. 24 before stopping off in Greenville, S.C., for post-production work, was due to touch down Monday at the headquarters of U.S. Forces Japan and 5th Air Force in Tokyo, Air Force officials said.
“Other Super Hercs will arrive throughout the next 14 to 16 months,” Larry Gallogly, Lockheed Martin’s director of domestic business development for Air Mobility and Maritime Missions, said in an email Friday.
Yokota’s 36th Airlift Squadron, 374th Airlift Wing is replacing 14 older C-130H cargo planes with the new model, which will be used to support peacekeeping and contingency operations in the Western Pacific, including cargo-delivery, troop-transport, air-drop and aeromedical missions.
The planes will be the first Air Force C-130Js to be permanently assigned to the Pacific region, an Air Force statement said.
“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, a Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager. “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.”
C-130Js have already seen extensive service with the Air Force and have accumulated more than 1.5 million flight hours. They have superior performance and new capabilities, including more range and flexibility than the old C-130Hs, the Air Force statement said.