Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company has delivered the last of eight C-130Js that were scheduled for delivery to the Maryland Air National Guard's 135th Airlift Group. The 135th, which is part of the Middle River, Md.-based 175th Wing, was re-formed last year, and is the first Air National Guard unit in the nation to receive the world's newest airlifter.
Maj. Gen. James F. Fretterd, the Adjutant General of Maryland, said, "Delivery of the final C-130J represents the culmination of several years of hard work by many parties, including Maryland's Congressional delegation and senior Air Force and National Guard Bureau leadership. As a result, I'm proud to report that the future of the Maryland Air National Guard's airlift community is secure."
The Maryland Air National Guard's 135th Airlift Group supports a number of worldwide missions, including troop and armament delivery on rugged landing strips to emergency evacuation and humanitarian relief services. The greatly improved performance of the C-130J, with its increases in range, speed and payload, makes the Maryland Air National Guard unit an invaluable part of the U.S. airlift force structure.
"We are very proud of our Hercules, and to see the first airlift group in the U.S. Air Force with its full complement of Js is a great feeling," said Ross Reynolds, Lockheed Martin C-130J program vice president. "We are seeing more and more C-130J operators around the world beginning to fully utilize their aircraft, and it truly is the beginning of a new era in airlift."
Maj. Gen. Bruce F. Tuxill, Maryland's Assistant Adjutant General - Air, added, "Selection as the first Air National Guard unit in the country to receive the C-130J demonstrates the high value the U.S. Air Force places on the men and women of the Maryland Air National Guard." He added, "We are eager to demonstrate to all of those who fought so hard to bring this state- of-art aircraft to Maryland that we are up to all of the challenges that lie ahead."
The Maryland Air National Guard is comprised of the State Headquarters and the 175th Wing with its two flying units -- the 104th Fighter Squadron and the 135th Airlift Group -- and their support staffs. Nearly 2,000 full-time and traditional members are employed by the Maryland ANG, contributing nearly $80 million dollars annually to the state's economy.
The Air National Guard represents more than one-third of the total U.S. Air Force's total structure. Under the Total Force Policy, the Air National Guard, the Air Force Reserve and the active U.S. Air Force are full partners in protecting the United States and its interests at home and abroad.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company is a leader in the design, development, systems integration, production and support of advanced military aircraft and related technologies. Its customers include the military services of the United States and allied countries throughout the world. Products include the F-16, F-22, C-130J, F-117, U-2, and Joint Strike Fighter, among other renowned aircraft.
LM Aeronautics is a unit of Lockheed Martin Corporation
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SOURCE: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company
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