The first four Embraer A-29B Super Tucano light attack aircaft for the Afghan Air Force arrived in Kabul this weekend, Afghan defense officials have said. The delivery follows last month’s graduation of the first class of Afghan pilots for the type.
Lockheed Martin delivered three additional Hercules aircraft to the US Air Force last week, in three different configurations.
First out on 19 March was a MC-130J Commando II Special Operations tanker for the AFSOC 353rd Special Operations Group at Kadena Airbase in Japan. Also on 19 March a HC-130J for the US Coast Guard was ferried to Greenville, South Carolina, for post-production modifications and a paint job. The USCG expects this aircraft in 2016.
Finally, on 24 March a HC-130J Combat King II personnel recovery aircraft went to the 347th Rescue Group at Moody AFB in Georgia.
The oldest Lockheed C-130 Hercules in the US Air Force inventory arrived at its final resting spot on 3 March 2015. HC-130P Combat King “Iron Horse” (aircraft 62-1863) landed at David-Monthan AFB in Arizona, home of the “boneyard”, after a service life of 52 years.
Iron Horse began its Air Force career as a C-130E Hercules assigned to the 374th Tactical Airlift Wing during the Vietnam War and ended with a final deployment in 2009 with the 71st Rescue Squadron. Iron Horse first got its nickname when it was stationed at Davis-Monthan AFB in 1994 as an EC-130C Airborne Command and Control Center.
After nine years at its future retirement home in Arizona, the historic aircraft was selected by Air Combat Command for its final modification into the HC-130P Combat King in 2003. It was the only aircraft that was converted. The Air Force Special Operations Command made the decision to cancel the program and buy new HC-130J aircraft instead.
Moody and its 71st RQS welcomed Iron Horse into its fleet in 2007, and it has served here until the HC-130J Combat King II was introduced.
The US Air Force 347th Rescue Group at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, received its first new dedicated fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft. The HC-130J Combat King II made the small ferry flight from Lockheed Martins plant in Marietta on July 19th, 2013.
The CSAR variant of the C-130J variant replaces existing HC-130P/N aircraft. It specializes in tactical profiles and avoids detection to support recovery operations in austere environments. This HC-130J is one of six Super Hercules on contract designated for assignment at Moody AFB.