The US Air Force (USAF) revealed on December 22 that Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Ohio has been selected by Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall as the preferred location to base eight new Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules tactical transports.
This move will see the eight legacy C-130H Hercules aircraft currently based at Youngstown as part of the 910th Airlift Wing (AW) – a component of Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) – replaced by the newer and more modern C-130J Super Hercules. The USAF states that Youngstown was selected to host the eight new C-130Js after a site survey was conducted that “assessed the location based on factors related to mission, infrastructure capacity, community support, environmental considerations, and cost.”
Youngstown-based C-130Hs currently support Air Force Northern Command by carrying out aerial spray operations, as well as the type’s enduring tactical airlift mission and will continue to do so after receiving the Super Hercules. “The C-130J reduces manpower requirements, lowers operating and support costs, and provides life-cycle cost savings over earlier C-130 models. It is also capable of climbing faster and higher, flying farther at a higher cruise speed, and taking off and landing in a shorter distance,” the USAF added.
While Youngstown has been initially selected to base the new C-130Js, a final basing decision will not be made until an environmental impact analysis has been carried out. This process is expected to be completed this summer. If by chance Youngstown fails this study, the USAF has identified Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado; Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia and Minneapolis-St Paul Air Reserve Station, Minnesota, as reasonable alternative locations.