11-ship formation flight flexes Hercules muscle

A C-130J takes off from the flightline during an 11-ship C-130J formation Oct. 24, 2016, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The aircraft is capable of operating from rough dirt-strips and is the primary transport for airdropping troops and equipment into hostile areas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Grace Nichols)

A C-130J takes off from the flightline during an 11-ship C-130J formation Oct. 24, 2016, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The aircraft is capable of operating from rough dirt-strips and is the primary transport for airdropping troops and equipment into hostile areas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Grace Nichols)

A C-130J takes off while another taxis on the flightline during an 11-ship C-130J formation Oct. 24, 2016, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The C-130J Hercules performs the tactical portion of the Combat Airlift mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Grace Nichols)

A C-130J takes off while another taxis on the flightline during an 11-ship C-130J formation Oct. 24, 2016, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The C-130J Hercules performs the tactical portion of the Combat Airlift mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Grace Nichols)

A C-130J taxis on the flightline as part of an 11-ship C-130J formation Oct. 24, 2016, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. Little Rock AFB is home to the largest C-130 fleet in the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Grace Nichols)

A C-130J taxis on the flightline as part of an 11-ship C-130J formation Oct. 24, 2016, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. Little Rock AFB is home to the largest C-130 fleet in the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Grace Nichols)

An 11-ship C-130J formation launches from Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. Oct. 24, 2016. The aircraft can airdrop cargo loads of up to 42,000 pounds and use high-flotation landing gear to land and deliver cargo on dirt landing zones. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Grace Nichols)

An 11-ship C-130J formation launches from Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. Oct. 24, 2016. The aircraft can airdrop cargo loads of up to 42,000 pounds and use high-flotation landing gear to land and deliver cargo on dirt landing zones. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Grace Nichols)

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. --

A formation of 11 C-130Js departed Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Oct. 24, 2016, as part of a total force exercise ensuring mission readiness.

C-130s from Little Rock AFB, departed the flightline in quick sequence to join aircraft from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas and Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi to put the 61st Airlift Squadron’s team to the test.

 “The sortie was part of a shift in mentality for the 61st AS, from a transition squadron to a combat ready squadron with members who are challenging themselves to become C-130J experts,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Nate Clegg, 61st AS chief of tactics.

The 61st AS recently completed the transition from the C-130H model to the C-130J model and is now focused on the C-130J.

“I’m proud of how the squadron rallied up to meet the challenge,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Angela Ochoa, 61st AS commander. “They are creative, coming up with new ideas and new ways of doing things by using lessons learned from combat experiences and recent deployments.”

The 61st AS tactics shop is currently developing training phases for 2017 which will challenge aircrew and support the shift, focusing on mitigating threats and implementing a diverse array of aerial delivery methods and large formation executions.

“I believe we can achieve our goals,” Ochoa said. “I’m really proud of our leadership and Airmen for coming up with an effective way of moving forward.”