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Texas Air National Guard wing begins transition to C-130J with first aircraft arrival

Photo: US Air National Guard

The 136th Airlift Wing of the Texas Air National Guard began its transition from the C-130H to the more modern C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft after receiving the first airframe on July 24.

The first of eight C-130J that the wing will receive was named “The Kay Granger” in honor of Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-TX), Lead Republican on the House Appropriations Committee.

“I am thrilled to see years of work come to fruition with today’s arrival of the first C-130J Super Hercules to the 136th Airlift Wing,” said Congresswoman Kay Granger. “I am honored to have the first of these cutting-edge aircraft named after me, commemorating my years of strong support for their development and assignment to NAS JRB Fort Worth.”

In November 2020, the Department of the Air Force announced that the 136th Airlift Wing of the Texas Air National Guard would be receiving eight C-130Js to replace its aging fleet of C-130H aircraft. Today’s ceremony welcomes the first of these aircraft to its new home at NAS JRB Fort Worth.

In addition to Texas, the air force also selected Louisville Air National Guard Base, Kentucky, McLaughlin ANGB, West Virginia, and Savannah ANGB, Georgia, as the preferred locations to receive C-130J Super Hercules aircraft to replace their aging C-130Hs.

The C-130J reduces manpower requirements, lowers operating and support costs, and provides life-cycle cost savings over earlier C-130 models. Compared to older C-130s, the “J” model climbs faster and higher, flies farther at a higher cruise speed, and takes off and lands in a shorter distance.

C-130J major system improvements include advanced two-pilot flight station with fully integrated digital avionics, color multifunctional liquid crystal and head-up displays, and state-of-the-art navigation that includes a dual inertial navigation system and GPS. The aircraft also features fully integrated defensive systems, low-power color radar, digital moving map display, new turboprop engines with six-bladed all-composite propellers and a digital autopilot. The C-130J also includes improved fuel, environmental and ice-protection and an enhanced cargo-handling system.

Kentucky, West Virginia and Texas will begin receiving eight aircraft each in 2021. Georgia will receive new aircraft if they become available in the future.

It is worth noting that NAS JRB Fort Worth was also the beneficiary of two other major basing decisions. The 136th Airlift Wing was selected to receive the Air National Guard’s newest Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, and the 301st Fighter Wing was chosen to receive 26 new F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, built just across the base’s runway.