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A C-130J Super Hercules aircraft flies on a blue sky background.

An Enduring Legacy

The 910th Airlift Wing’s employment of C-130 aircraft began in 1981 with the arrival of its fleet of C-130Bs, converting the unit from the 910th Tactical Fighter Group to the 910th Tactical Airlift Group. The airlift legacy continued in 1994 as the unit converted to C-130H Hercules aircraft.

The 910th Airlift Wing has used its fleet of C-130H Hercules aircraft, varying in strength from 16 to 8 assigned aircraft, to perform tactical airlift missions and aerial spray operations around the United States and abroad. As the 910th Airlift Wing has been selected to receive eight new C-130J-30 Super Hercules aircraft, the unit is preparing to divest itself of its legacy C-130H Hercules aircraft while honoring their legacy of service. Here is a summary of missions that the 910th Airlift Wing has completed as a C-130H Hercules unit:

1981: The 910th is redesignated as the 910th Tactical Airlift Group and receives its first C-130B aircraft.

May 1994: Three aircraft from the 910th deliver pallets of humanitarian cargo to Mother Teresa in India, becoming the first U.S. military aircraft to operate there in 22 years.

1994: The 910th Airlift Group is redesignated the 910th Airlift Wing, with 16 permanently assigned and authorized C-130H Hercules aircraft. 

May 1995: The 773rd Airlift Squadron is activated as a unit of the 910th Airlift Wing.

2003-2014: Air Force structure changes reduce the 910th’s Primary Assigned Aircraft from 12 to eight, with one Back-up Inventory Aircraft. The reduction in aircraft results in the deactivation of the 773rd Airlift Squadron, which was activated as a unit of the 910th in 1995. 

July 2005: More than 90 Air Force Reservists from the 910th’s 757th Airlift Squadron are honored for combat missions their unit flew while supporting the ongoing War on Terrorism. The C-130 aircrews transported more than 26,000 people and more than 5,000 tons of cargo on at least 3,400 flying missions, of which at least 2,300 were combat missions. 

September–October 2005: The 910th Airlift Wing is tasked to combat the potential deadly spread of infectious diseases from insect bites due to the flooding in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, treating more than 2.8 million acres. 

September 2008: The 910th Airlift Wing sprays nearly 750K acres in Louisiana due to the flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav

December 2008: The 910th transports seven pallets (approx. 45,000 pounds) during a humanitarian relief mission to people in the Dominican Republic in the aftermath of a hurricane.

January–February 2010: 910th Aircraft and aircrews provide airlift support to Operation Unified Response, an international relief effort in the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti. 

May–June 2010: The 910th’s 757th Airlift Squadron is directed to conduct aerial spray for Operation Deep Water Horizon, using dispersing agents to neutralize the oil spill caused by the April 2010 sinking of the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico. 

October 2011–January 2012: Four aircraft and approximately 140 Airmen assigned to the the 910th Airlift Wing deploy to Southwest Asia for four months to support airlift operations to various military installations throughout the U.S. Central Command Area of Operations, completing 2,562 flying hours during 354 missions. 

June 2014–Sept. 2014: More than 110 members from the 910th Airlift Wing’s flying and maintenance squadrons support airlift operations to various military installations throughout the U.S. Central Command Area of Operations, completing 1,275 flying hours during the course of 300 missions.

September 2017: The 757th Airlift Squadron performs 28 sorties to treat more than 2.7 million acres in Texas with insecticide in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, marking the first emergency mosquito-control mission performed using Night Vision Goggles at dusk hours when mosquitos are most active.

October 2020: 85 Reserve Citizen Airmen and three C-130s assigned to the 910th deploy to conduct Aerial Spray operations to treat more than 900,000 acres in southern Louisiana for mosquito control in the aftermath of Hurricanes Laura and Delta.

February–May 2022: More than 140 members from the 910th’s flying, maintenance and other ground support squadrons deploy to provide airlift operations to military installations and operations including East Africa Response Force and Joint Special Operations Task Force Somalia, in support of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa Area of Operations.

A Promising Future

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. 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. The C-130J-30 is a stretch version, adding 15 feet to the fuselage, increasing usable space in the cargo compartment.

C-130J/J-30 major system improvements include an 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 auto pilot. The C-130J/J-30 also includes improved fuel, environmental and ice-protection and an enhanced cargo-handling system.

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