Lockheed Martin handed over the first C-130J-30 Super Hercules tactical airlifter to the Georgia Air National Guard.
Commemorating a new era in Hercules operations for the wing, the 165th Airlift Wing of the Georgia Air National Guard received the first of its eight C-130J-30 Super Hercules, tail number 5975, during a ceremony held on January 22.
The “Georgia Built, Georgia Flown” themed ceremony underscored the significance of the delivery, emphasizing that the aircraft was constructed in Georgia by local workers for the Georgia Air National Guard.
As the inaugural C-130 operator in Georgia since 1975, the 165th Airlift Wing, based in Savannah, has managed various Hercules variants over the years. Currently, the unit is in the process of transitioning to the C-130J-30 Super Hercules, which is the stretched version of the C-130J, adding 15 feet of cargo space.
In addition to being the first C-130J fleet in Georgia, this aircraft marks the premiere Super Hercules crafted in the Block 8.1 configuration during its initial production.
According to the manufacturer, the incorporation of the Block 8.1 configuration is intended to improve interoperability across the fleet, incorporating features such as an advanced flight management system, upgraded navigation and intercommunication systems, and a revamped friend-or-foe identification system.
“Today marks a historic moment for the 165th Airlift Wing as we proudly accepted our first C-130J Super Hercules,” said US Air Force Col. Sheldon B. Wilson, 165 AW commander.
“This state-of-the-art aircraft, the most advanced of its kind, symbolizes our Airmen’s unwavering commitment to excellence, innovation, and their ever-evolving capabilities that allow them to meet the challenges of our mission. As we enter a new era of 165th history, let us embrace this powerful tool with determination and continue to go above and beyond answering our nation’s call as America’s Best Team, World’s Best Airlift,” he added.
“The addition of the C-130J Super Hercules, the most advanced Hercules ever produced, to the Georgia Air National Guard’s fleet enables its crews to deliver hope and help ― all over the world― for many years to come,” said Rod McLean, vice president and general manager for Lockheed Martin’s Air Mobility & Maritime Missions line of business and its Marietta production site.