18th Air Force Commander delivers newest Super Herc to Dyess
By Maj. Michael Meridith, Director of Public Affairs, 18th Air Force
/ Published September 13, 2011
DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
The commander of the 18th Air Force flew and delivered a brand new C-130J Super Hercules to the 317th Airlift Group here September 8.
The delivery by Lt. Gen. Robert R. Allardice from a Lockheed-Martin Plant in Marietta, Ga., was the sixth in the 317th's continuing transition to the new aircraft. Dyess is slated to become home to the Air Force's largest C-130J fleet when it receives its 28th and final C-130J in 2013. Marking the significance of the delivery in terms of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, General Allardice spoke to a crowded hangar of military and community leaders and servicemembers.
"It is an honor to deliver this aircraft," said General Allardice. "Every single day since 9/11 we [the Air Force] have been logging combat time and every mission is connected to the mobility air forces."
As part of the delivery ceremony, General Allardice formally presented a ceremonial key to the aircraft to its dedicated crew chief, Staff Sgt. Michael Smith. He also noted that while the C-130J was a "great machine", the key to the Air Force's success was its people.
"We exist to answer the call so that others may prevail," he said. "When you celebrate today, think about all those who are answering that call."
Dyess began C-130 operations in 1961 with A and D models, but currently fly the H and J models. C-130Js entered the Air Force in 1999 and incorporate state-of-the-art technology to reduce manpower requirements, lower operating and support costs and provide life-cycle cost savings over earlier models. Compared to older C-130s, the J model climbs faster and higher, flies farther at a higher cruise speed and takes off and land in a shorter distance.