Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth has been selected as a main operating base for eight C-130J aircraft at the 136th Airlift Wing.
The U.S. Airforce says the aircraft will arrive in Fort Worth by late 2022 or early 2023.
“It comes as no surprise that the Airmen at NAS JRB Fort Worth are being put up to new challenges and receiving resources based on their incredibly capable track record,” Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said in a statement. “I commend the Department of Defense for recognizing the success of the Texas men and women who serve.”
U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth recalled the days when she led the fight to preserve what was then Carswell Air Force Base, which faced closing.
“The 136th’s selection highlights the importance of NAS JRB Fort Worth to both our national and homeland security. As their motto Nulli Secondus states, the 136th Airlift Wing is truly second to none, and these new aircraft will ensure decades of continued dominance,” Granger said in a statement.
“This excellent news serves as yet another acknowledgement of the tremendous value that both Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth and the local community offer to our nation’s defense,” said U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.
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. Compared to older C-130s, the J model climbs faster and higher, flies farther at a higher cruise speed, and takes off and lands in a shorter distance.
There are currently 13 Air National Guard C-130H tactical airlift units without a formal training unit or LC-130 special missions aircraft in the United States.
In March 2020, the secretary of the Air Force selected eight of those airlift unit locations as candidates for placement of three Air National Guard squadrons of eight C-130J aircraft each.
In addition to Fort Worth, the Air Force selected Louisville Air National Guard Base, Kentucky, McLaughlin ANGB, West Virginia, and Savannah ANGB, Georgia, as the preferred locations to receive C-130J Super Hercules aircraft to replace their aging C-130Hs, pending the outcome of environmental assessments.
The Air Force said in a news release that C-130J major system improvements include advanced two-pilot flight station with fully integrated digital avionics, color multifunctional liquid crystal and head-up displays, and state-of-the-art navigation that includes a dual inertial navigation system and GPS.
The aircraft also features fully integrated defensive systems, low-power color radar, digital moving map display, new turboprop engines with six-bladed all-composite propellers and a digital autopilot. The C-130J also includes improved fuel, environmental and ice-protection and an enhanced cargo-handling system.