The first KC-130J Super Hercules tanker assigned to a U.S. Marine Corps Reserve squadron was ferried March 17 from the Lockheed Martin facility located in Marietta, Ga.
This KC-130J is assigned to the Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 234 (VMGR-234) stationed at Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas.
The aircraft will be welcomed with a formal ceremony on March 18, in Texas, where it is the first KC-130J tanker to be stationed in the state. NAS Fort Worth JRB shares a runway with Lockheed Martin’s Aeronautics headquarters location in Fort Worth.
“Since the early 1960s, U.S. Marine Corps teams have operated the KC-130 and showcased the Hercules’ unparalleled capabilities as both a flexible tactical airlifter and vital tanker resource. This new KC-130J provides VMGR-234 crews with added power, strength and flexibility to support the highly critical missions they are depended upon to perform,” said George Shultz, vice president and general manager, C-130 Programs. “The arrival of the KC-130J Super Hercules in Fort Worth represents the start of a new era of Hercules history and we are honored to extend this tradition of Hercules flight with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.”
VMGR-234 is a part of Marine Aircraft Group 41 (MAG-41), 4th Marine Aircraft Wing (4th MAW). Its crew and aircraft provide aerial refueling capabilities and air transport of personnel, equipment and supplies. The squadron, known as the “Rangers,” has operated KC-130s for more than 30 years, using the aircraft for missions during the Gulf War and Operation Enduring Freedom in addition to providing humanitarian support around the world. The squadron previously operated KC-130Fs and most recently, KC-130Ts.
The KC-130J is the global leader in aerial refueling for both tactical aircraft and helicopters, and it is also capable of conducting rapid ground refueling. The battle-tested KC-130J aerial refueling tanker is the latest in a long lineage of C-130 Hercules tanker technology. The new KC-130J builds on proven tanker designs while taking full advantage of tremendous technological and performance improvements inherent in the basic C-130J aircraft. KC-130Js operated by U.S. Marine Corps active duty crews contributed to the worldwide C-130 fleet’s initial 1 million flight hours.