News>HC-130J arrival brings promise of improved personnel recovery
355th Wing and 23rd Wing leader salute an HC-130J Combat King II piloted by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz Sept. 24, 2011, at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. Schwartz flew in the aircraft for an HC-130J arrival ceremony. The aircraft's mission is to rapidly deploy to execute combatant commander directed recovery operations to austere airfields. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Staff Sgt. Joshua J. Garcia)
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton A. Schwartz hands over a ceremonial key to Staff Sgt. Christopher Meyer Sept. 24, 2011, at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., during an HC-130 J Combat King II arrival ceremony. Meyer will be the HC-130J dedicated crew chief, and he’s assigned to the 88th Test and Evaluation Squadron at Nellis AFB, Nev. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Joshua J. Garcia)
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz speaks to the audience about the capabilities of the HC-130J Combat King II Sept. 24, 2011, at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., during an arrival ceremony. The new aircraft will be assigned to the 88th Tester Squadron for a year while pilots from the 79th Rescue Squadron attend training for using the aircraft's new operating systems. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Joshua J. Garcia)
by Airman 1st Class Nicholas Benroth
23rd Wing Public Affairs
9/26/2011 - DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. (AFNS) -- Air Combat Command officials received its first HC-130J Combat King II after Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz flew the aircraft here and officiated an arrival ceremony Sept. 24.
The delivery of the new C-130 model from Georgia was significant for the personnel recovery mission, as the predecessor HC-130P/N King begins to be replaced with the newer HC-130Js.
"It is an honor to have flown such a magnificent aircraft," Schwartz said during the ceremony. "This is such a significant milestone for the personnel recovery community. The capabilities of the new HC-130J are a magnitude greater than any of its predecessors."
The previous C-130 models were originally built in the 1960s, but age and flight time have caught up with the airframes, said Col. Jason Hanover, the 563rd Rescue Group commander.
"This new aircraft is replacing an aging fleet and will give us so much more capability," Hanover said. "It's still called a C-130, but this is such a radically different aircraft. We will always execute our rescue mission, but this will allow us to facilitate other needs across the force."
The Combat King II has a long list of modifications that will increase its mission effectiveness, including improved navigation, threat detection and countermeasure systems, Hanover said.
Before the newly arrived HC-130J can begin flying missions, it will be flown by the testing squadron here. Air Force officials expect HC-130Js to begin regular duty at the base in early 2013.
In the meantime, members of the 79th Rescue Squadron here will complete the training needed to fly and operate the new model.
"Right now, the 79th RQS is on their last major deployment with the older model of the C-130 and will be set to begin sending their people to the new J-model courses," Hanover said. "The eight months of training needed to operate this aircraft really show all the improvements that have been made."
The new aircraft will be a welcome addition to the Air Force's rescue community, which is second to none in training, dedication and results, Schwartz said.
"It's a result of all this that Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coastguardsmen who serve in harm's way have that extra measure of confidence," Schwartz said. "They know that in times of danger or extreme duress, they can count on the fact that you will be there, or you will die trying."
7/25/2012 10:35:55 PM ET Dont think they need a RO... Only thing they need is a FE... Think that will be the only problem... Plus ROs sleep half the time they fly and eat skittles. FE is adult supervision
10/1/2011 8:58:05 PM ET no RO huh? good luck figuring out the comm side of things...
10/1/2011 12:06:53 PM ET Looks great. future budgeting. I hope to see the Air National Guard and Reserves get there issue. And include a Sensor Operator.
Sal, March ARB
9/29/2011 7:29:57 PM ET Sorry no radio operator.
HC130J Load, GA
9/29/2011 10:30:55 AM ET Minor corection to the caption on pic number 2. SSgt Meyer is a member of the 88th Test and Evaluation Squadron and not the 563 RQG
John LeClair, Nellis AFBm NV
9/27/2011 9:34:28 AM ET Nice
Pope AF, NC
9/26/2011 12:40:35 PM ET Hopefully the HC130J will have a radio operator position.