The California Air National Guard, the airforce militia of the US State of California, has received delivery of the first HC-130J Combat King II combat search-and-rescue tanker.
Developed by Lockheed Martin, the HC-130J aircraft will be operated by the 129th Rescue Wing (RQW) at Moffett Air National Guard Base, California.
Four HC-130J tankers are being developed by the company to replace the fleet of MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft currently operated by the 129th RQW, which carries out a wide range of civilian search-and-rescue missions, including distressed persons on-board ships, lost or injured hikers, and medical evacuations.
Lockheed Martin Air Mobility and Maritime Missions vice-president and general manager George Shultz said: “The 129th RQW has long relied on its MC-130Ps to exemplify the National Guard’s commitment to being, ‘Always Ready, Always There.’
“The arrival of these new HC-130Js ensures these airmen will have the increased power, enhanced capabilities and proven performance that will continue to help save lives in California, throughout the Pacific region, and around the world.”
The HC-130J is a fixed-wing personnel recovery aircraft used by the airforce and the Air National Guard, while it supports various missions in all-weather and geographic environments.
The Lockheed aircraft can also be deployed to carry out airdrop, airland, as well as helicopter air-to-air refuelling and forward-area ground refuelling missions.
It also supports humanitarian aid operations, disaster response, security cooperation / aviation advisory, emergency aeromedical evacuation, and non-combatant evacuation operations.
The HC-130J tanker is one of eight production variants of Lockheed Martin’s C-130J Super Hercules, which is the current production model of the C-130 Hercules aircraft.