The Valdosta Daily Times
On Friday, Moody Air Force Base welcomed its newest airplane, the HC-130J Combat King II.
Fresh from the Lockheed-Martin factory floor in Marietta, the HC-130J is the first of nine that Moody will receive during the next five years.
The new aircraft will replace a fleet of HC-130Ps that are nearly 50 years old.
As you might imagine, the HC-130J features a wealth of technological improvements over the HC-130Ps.
“It’s really exciting for us,” said Capt. Christy Wise. “We love those old birds, but this allows us to go higher, faster and do our missions better.”
Far from the knobs and switches of the HC-130P, the HC-130J features more computer technology, from automation to heads-up displays and cameras. But the best part?
“The best part for me might be the air-conditioning,” laughed Wise.
While a lot has changed from the HC-130P to the HC-130J, the missions are the same.
Personnel rescue operations. Infiltration and exfiltration. Making landings in austere and hostile conditions. Mid-air refuelings, be they other planes or helicopters, midday or dark of night.
Perhaps the future missions of the HC-130Js, and the 71st and 79th Rescue Squadrons who will be flying them, can best be summed up by Georgia’s former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn, speaking at the delivery ceremony Friday morning.
“It can go where all hell has broken loose and it can go where it’s expected to break loose,” said Nunn. “That’s when you want a HC-130J, and that’s when you need one.”