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NEWS | Jan. 22, 2024

Georgia Air National Guard Receives its 1st C-130J-30 Aircraft

By Master Sgt. Caila Arahood, 165th Airlift Wing

MARIETTA, Ga. - The 165th Airlift Wing, Georgia Air National Guard, received the first of its eight C-130J-30 Super Hercules tactical airlift aircraft during a Jan. 22 ceremony commemorating a new era in Hercules operations for the wing.

The 165 AW, the first C-130 operator in the state of Georgia, received its initial Hercules in 1975 and has operated several variants over the years. Now the wing will operate the most advanced C-130J-30 Super Hercules to date, which offers unprecedented power, space, integration and versatility.

“Today marks a historic moment for the 165th Airlift Wing as we proudly accepted our first C-130J Super Hercules,” said U.S. 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.”

The “Georgia Built, Georgia Flown” themed ceremony reiterated the excitement and significance of this aircraft delivery as the plane being delivered was built in Georgia, by Georgians for the Georgia Air National Guard.

“On behalf of our 6,000+ Georgia employees, it is an honor to deliver this Georgia-built, Georgia-flown aircraft to Savannah’s 165th Airlift Wing,” said Rod McLean, vice president and general manager for Lockheed Martin’s Air Mobility & Maritime Missions line of business and its Marietta production site. “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.”

In addition to being the first C-130J fleet in Georgia, this aircraft stands as the first Super Hercules crafted in the Block 8.1 configuration during its initial production. The incorporation of the Block 8.1 configuration is poised to enhance interoperability across our fleet, boasting features such as a state-of-the-art flight management system, upgraded navigation and intercommunication systems, and a revamped friend-or-foe identification system.

“This new aircraft also represents a major increase in capability for the men and women of Georgia’s Air National Guard, who will now count the most advanced C-130 ever built as part of its newest fleet. I want to thank Georgia Adjutant General Thomas Carden for his partnership in securing this major victory for Georgia and our nation,” said Rep. Barry Loudermilk.

The addition of the C-130J Super Hercules to the Georgia Air National Guard’s fleet ensures our Airmen will continue to support the Guard’s motto of “Always Ready, Always There” for decades to come.

The 165th Airlift Wing fulfills federal and state missions through precise airdrops or reliable airland operations and is dedicated to ensuring the strategic tactical airlift of personnel, equipment, and supplies with precision and efficiency.



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