Lockheed Martin achieves a milestone with the delivery of the first C-130J-30 Super Hercules to the Georgia Air National Guard. This marks a new era for the 165th Airlift Wing, the first C-130 operator in Georgia. The C-130J-30 offers unparalleled power, space, and versatility, symbolizing Lockheed's commitment to advancing aerospace capabilities. The aircraft, built in Georgia, signifies a collaboration between Lockheed and the state, contributing to the economy and bolstering national security.
In a historic ceremony in Marietta, Georgia, Lockheed Martin proudly handed over the keys, or rather the wings, of the first C-130J-30 Super Hercules to the Georgia Air National Guard. This delivery signals a significant milestone for the 165th Airlift Wing, Georgia's first-ever C-130 operator, marking a transition to the advanced capabilities of the C-130J-30.
The 165th Airlift Wing, with a heritage dating back to 1975, has operated various C-130 variants over the years. However, the introduction of the C-130J-30 ushers in a new era of tactical airlift operations, characterized by unprecedented power, space, integration, and versatility.
Rod McLean, Vice President and General Manager for Lockheed Martin's Air Mobility & Maritime Missions, emphasized the long-term commitment to Georgia, stating, "Today's delivery of this C-130J-30 Super Hercules is another symbol of Lockheed Martin's long-term commitment to the Hercules' home state." The addition of this advanced aircraft to the Georgia Air National Guard's fleet underscores Lockheed's dedication to delivering hope and assistance globally.
Governor Brian Kemp expressed his gratitude, stating, "I'm proud the longest continuously produced military aircraft in American history is now both Georgia-built and Georgia-flown, supporting our state's continued growth as a national leader in military, defense, and aerospace."
The C-130J-30, known for its stretch version adding 15 feet of cargo space, becomes Georgia's aerospace ambassador to the world. With almost 2.7 million flight hours and a significant annual investment into the Georgia economy, this aircraft represents not only cutting-edge technology but also a substantial economic contribution.
U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff highlighted the importance of the C-130J program in strengthening national security, stating, "Every aircraft made represents the hard work of 5,500 Georgians at Lockheed Martin's Marietta facility." This aircraft's enhanced capability aligns with Lockheed's broader strategy of advancing military aircraft capabilities.
The C-130J-30, configured with Block 8.1 enhancements, improves interoperability across the fleet with updated systems, reinforcing its position as the most capable airlifter globally. The U.S. Air National Guard, boasting one of the world's most active C-130 fleets, continues to operate a mix of C-130J and C-130H aircraft. The addition of the C-130J-30 ensures sustained readiness for the Guard, supporting its motto of "Always Ready, Always There."
Major General Tom Carden, Adjutant General of the Georgia Department of Defense, expressed pride in the Airmen at the 165th Airlift Wing, stating, "The Georgia National Guard is more prepared than ever to answer the call with the cutting-edge, C-130J Super Hercules-enabled airlift."
The C-130J Super Hercules, a proven standard in tactical airlift, symbolizes Lockheed Martin's commitment to delivering advanced technology systems, products, and services for national security.
Lockheed Martin's delivery of the first C-130J-30 Super Hercules to the Georgia Air National Guard marks not only a technological triumph but a testament to the enduring partnership between Lockheed and Georgia. This milestone aircraft, built and flown in Georgia, not only bolsters national security but also contributes significantly to the state's aerospace prominence. The C-130J-30 stands poised to continue Georgia's legacy as a leader in military, defense, and aerospace, epitomizing Lockheed's commitment to innovation and excellence in aviation.