CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The 130th Airlift Wing is replacing its C-130 H-3 planes with new C-130 J-30 planes, called the Super Hercules. The new planes have state-of-the-art technology, fly faster, require less manpower and can store a wide variety of cargo.
“It sets a milestone for us. We have not received new airplanes here at the 130 Airlift Wing since 1989, so this is a really unique culminating event for us,” said Colonel Patrick Chard, Vice Wing Commander.
“The F.A.A. and similar organizations internationally are putting requirements on airplanes that we were not able to keep up with in all cases,” remarks Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Bethel, Operations Squad Commander.
This a big deal to the pilots because they’ve waited years for the new planes. They say their missions will be carried out more safely and efficiently around the world. They are getting eight total and two of them will be showcased on Sunday.
“Receiving these new J-models allows us to really cement this wing as a flying wing here in Charleston for the next 20 years,” said Colonel Chard.
The Air National Guard says the latest addition to the C-130 fleet also includes an advanced two-pilot flight station, navigation unit, and defensive system. The new planes make less noise and are safer for the environment. Most importantly, the planes can take-off and land from rough, dirt terrain and are the prime transport for airdropping troops into hostile areas.
“But there is the personal side of it where we had 33 folks that the new aircraft eliminated their position, and so we had to find new jobs for 33 people,” said Lieutenant Colonel, Bethel.