First Combat-Ready HC-130J Enters the Inventory

The 79th Rescue Squadron at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., welcomed the Air Force’s first combat-coded HC-130J Combat King II personnel recovery aircraft into the service’s inventory during a ceremony at the base. “This aircraft means enhanced survivability for our HH-60s and our Guardian Angels,” said Col. Jason Hanover, 563rd Rescue Group commander, at the Nov. 15 induction ceremony. “It is a C-130 variant, but the differences make it an entirely different aircraft,” he added. Tail number 5707 is the third of four Lockheed Martin-built HC-130Js supplied to the Air Force thus far, according to the company. The three other Combat King IIs are intended for training at Davis-Monthan and Kirtland AFB, N.M. Overall, the Air Force plans to procure 37 HC-130Js to replace its legacy HC-130N/Ps. Fifteen of the C-130Js are already on order. The first HC-130J off of Lockheed Martin’s production line in Marietta, Ga., arrived at Davis-Monthan in September 2011. (Davis-Monthan report by SrA. Michael Washburn)