The 136th Airlift Wing Texas Air National Guard, part of the Texas Military Department, received its first of eight C-130J Super Hercules aircraft on July 24, 2021, at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas. During a Welcoming Reception, the aircraft was dedicated to Congresswoman Kay Granger and officially named, “The Kay Granger.” For the past four decades, the wing has flown a version of the C-130 Hercules. Ever since its 1978 conversion to Hercs, it’s been the wing’s mission to move the people, equipment, and materiel it takes to fight a war. This J-model airframe upgrade further enables that mission and aligns the wing to the National Guard Bureau objective – to continue to modernize equipment, systems and processes to remain deployable, sustainable, and interoperable.
The ceremony’s distinguished visitor list included the guest of honor Congresswoman Kay Granger, 12th District Representative and Lead Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, as well as Maj Gen Tracy Norris, The Adjutant General of Texas, Gen. (ret) North, Maj. Gen. Tom Suelzer, Deputy Adjutant General – Air, and recently retired Maj. Gen. Dawn Farrell. The C-130J is the latest addition to the C-130 fleet and has replaced aging C-130Es and some of the high time C-130Hs. The C-130J incorporates state-of-the-art technology, which reduces manpower requirements, lowers operating and support costs, and provides life-cycle cost savings over earlier C-130 models. This aircraft has proven itself in various types of missions, and in the harshest operating conditions, due in part to its uniquely adaptable platform available in approximately a dozen different configurations.
The 136th Airlift Wing (136 AW) is a unit of the Texas Air National Guard, stationed at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Fort Worth, Texas. The 136th Airlift Wing is composed of 5 groups, 19 units and 1 geographically separated unit (GSU). If activated to federal service, the wing is gained by the United States Air Force’s Air Mobility Command (AMC). As a National Guard unit, the 136th Airlift Wing has a dual role of serving the State of Texas under the command of the Governor during peace time and state emergencies, and becoming part of the active duty forces under the command of the President during wartime or other local or national emergencies. As Col. Keith Williams, 136AW commander, explains the wing’s mission is to provide highly trained, equipped and motivated military forces for worldwide combat and peacetime tasking supporting Texas and the Nation.
The Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. Externally similar to the classic Hercules in general appearance, the J-model features considerably updated technology. These differences include new Rolls-Royce AE 2100 D3 turboprop engines with Dowty R391 composite scimitar propellers, digital avionics (including head-up displays (HUDs) for each pilot), and reduced crew requirements. These changes have improved performance over its C-130E/H predecessors, such as 40% greater range, 21% higher maximum speed, and 41% shorter takeoff distance. The C-130J is the newest version of the C-130 Hercules and the only model in production. As of February 2018, 400 C-130J aircraft had been delivered to 17 nations. By July 2021, 450 had been delivered with 26 operators in 22 countries.