Friday, July 10, 2015

TOP STORY >> LRAFB renews fleet of C-130s

Leader senior staff writer

With the arrival of its 24th C-130J Thursday at Little Rock Air Force Base, the 19th Airlift Wing is just four planes shy of its allotment of 28, according to Tech Sgt. Jason Armstrong, a base spokesman.

The last of those planes is slated for delivery next summer, Armstrong said.

The C-130J, a state-of-the art combat airlifter that can carry a bigger payload, fly faster and take off and land on smaller runways than the earlier incarnations of the Vietnam-era plane, is deployed in support of humanitarian and combat missions around the world.

Tail No. 05771 was delivered from the Lockheed-Martin plant in Marietta, Ga., with 19th Maintenance Group Commander Col. Dan Lockert officiating, according to Tech Sgt. Armstrong.

Lockert presented the “key” to the aircraft to Senior Airman Edward Armstrong, the 19th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron dedicated air crew chief.

The base received its first C-130J March 19, 2004, when it was delivered to the 314th Airlift Wing, according to Armstrong, the spokesman.

The C-130Js are the newest of the C-130 models, slowly replacing the legacy fleet of H models. In 2012, the C-130J flew 23,000 sorties, moved 55,000 tons of cargo and 133,000 passengers, factoring heavily in tactical operations around the globe.