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NEWS | Jan. 17, 2024

West Virginia’s 130th Airlift Wing Certified for C-130J-30

By Edwin Wriston, West Virginia National Guard

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The West Virginia National Guard’s 130th Airlift Wing has met the requirements to be declared a C-130J-30 unit with Initial Operational Capability as of Jan. 1.

The 130th has been transitioning airframes from the C-130 H3 Hercules model to the advanced C-130J-30 Super Hercules since 2021. The unit operates eight C-130J-30 aircraft.

“Attaining the IOC certification represents a significant milestone for the unit and is validation of the dedication and tremendous effort put forth by the aircrews, maintainers and support staff of the 130th,” said Maj. Gen. Bill Crane, adjutant general of the West Virginia National Guard. “Our entire One Guard family is extremely proud of this step in keeping the 130th and our entire Guard at the forefront of technological innovation and the future war fight.”

IOC is defined as the first attainment of the full capability to effectively employ a system or platform. IOC designation includes the completion of nine months of operational test and evaluation drills to stress the aircraft and its crews under realistic conditions.

Entering service in 1965, the C-130 Hercules platform has undergone numerous upgrades, culminating in the current J model. Advanced features of the newest model airframe include greater fuel efficiency, safety, speed and distance, a higher service ceiling and modernized navigational capabilities. The J model is 16% larger than the H model, allowing 33% more cargo and 43% more passenger capacity while operating with two less required crew members.

Typical mission sets for the C-130J-30 include tactical airlift (intra-theater), humanitarian relief, aeromedical evacuation, noncombatant evacuation operations, "airdrop", "air land," formation flying, special operations, and search and rescue. Produced by Lockheed Martin, more than 450 Super Hercules are operational worldwide in the United States and in 20 allied and partner nations.



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