The Kentucky Air National Guard’s (ANG’s) 123rd Airlift Wing (AW) – based at Louisville ANG Base (ANGB), Kentucky – has completed its transition from the legacy C-130H Hercules tactical transport to the new C-130J Super Hercules.
This important milestone was achieved on August 25 with the arrival of the eighth C-130J for the 123rd AW at Louisville ANGB, a moment which marked the completion of the wing’s transition from the legacy C-130H to the new C-130J. Having flown the C-130H operationally since 1992, the 123rd AW bid farewell to its last legacy Hercules on September 24, 2021 – before the wing started to receive new examples of the C-130J from Lockheed Martin on November 6, that year. The 123rd AW’s former C-130Hs were transferred to the Delaware ANG’s 166th AW.
Highlighting the step change in capability offered by the newer C-130J, Col Bruce Bancroft – commander of the 123rd AW – said: “The C-130J has often been referred to as the stretch model. This means there are two additional pallet positions for equipment on top of the six pallet positions that are normally associated with what we refer to as legacy C-130s. So what’s the big deal about two more pallet positions? Well, that’s thousands of pounds of additional combat resupply equipment for our warfighter on every single sortie…
“With a total payload of over 44,000lb, six-bladed composite propellers, a maximum speed of 410mph, and a capacity for 97 litters of medical evacuees, 128 combat troops or 92 paratroopers, the C-130J truly defines superiority in tactical airlift. A digital avionics cockpit, liquid crystal displays, heads-up displays and state-of-the-art navigational equipment will directly impact the effectiveness, efficiency, situational awareness and safety of our aircrews, all resulting in an increased ability to answer our nation’s call day or night, any place, any time,” he added.