JOINT BASE ELEMENDOR-RICHARD, Alaska -- After a transition from the older C-130H Hercules model, the 36th Airlift Squadron are ready to provide tactical airlift throughout Red Flag-Alaska (RF-A).
"It’s our first time flying the J-model in RF-A, so it’s really been a learning experience for us as a squadron,” said Capt. Christopher Ansel, 36th Airlift Squadron C-130J mission planning cell chief.
Yokota’s C-130Js are used to support critical peacekeeping and contingency operations in the Pacific region, including cargo delivery, troop transport, airdrop and aeromedical missions. The aircraft provides significant performance improvements and added operational capabilities that translate directly into increased effectiveness.
“The C-130J is more capable in terms of power and size which enhances our ability to move cargo, especially throughout a mountainous environment like the on here in Alaska,” said Ansel. “Also, by having the improvement of a fully digital flight deck with more situational awareness tools helps us safely operate on a more complex airspace.”
The C-130J incorporates state-of-the-art technology to reduce manpower requirements, lower operating and support costs, and provide 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.
While Yokota has earned the name of Pacific’s Premiere Power Projection Platform, the Airmen from the 374th Airlift Wing have no doubt they now stand on the shoulders of giants.
“The C-130H Hercules aircrews definitely made an impact in the Pacific,” said Airman 1st Class Jaime Suarez, 36th AS C-130J loadmaster. “Now as a transitioned C-130J Super Hercules squadron, we try to live up to their legacy. Being here with over 30 units participating in an exercise this big is definitely a good opportunity for us to develop our understanding of how we operate and how we function with others. We need to know everything from working with the U.S. Army to working with different nations, so when the time comes we just have to send it.”