C-130J Makes Africa Debut

The 86th Airlift Wing at Ramstein AB, Germany, in mid-December concluded its first C-130J mission to Africa in support of 17th Air Force (Air Forces Africa), headquartered at Ramstein. The wing’s 37th Airlift Squadron on Dec. 19 completed the mission with one of its new C-130J transports when it transported 17 US troops from Mali to Ramstein after they helped train Malian forces. “I really believe that the J-model is uniquely going to show our capabilities in Africa,” said Maj. Robert May, aircraft commander on the mission. The 37th AS is building a force of 14 C-130Js, which are replacing less-capable, decades-old C-130Es. Already 10 of the 14 new assets are in place. They offer greater range and payload capacity as well as faster climb, higher cruising altitude, and ability to operate from shorter landing strips. (Ramstein report by SrA. Stefanie Torres)