Marines at Fort Worth base will get next-generation C-130s
The Marine Corps is replacing its aging C-130s at Naval Air Station Fort Worth with the next generation of the aircraft, U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, announced Tuesday.
Granger said in a news release that Lt. Gen. Robert Schmidle, deputy commandant for aviation for the Marines, has told her that the C-130s flown by Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 234 will be upgraded.
"This is great news for Fort Worth and the Marine Corps," Granger said. "Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth is a world-class facility with the very best soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, and the community support for our military is second to none.
"I want to thank General Amos and General Schmidle for recognizing the importance of this squadron to our national security," she said. Gen. James Amos is commandant of the Marine Corps.
The C-130s, built by Fort Worth-based Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Corp., are the workhorse of the military air corps, refueling other aircraft and transporting troops and materials. According to the Air Force fact sheet, the C-130J, known as the Super Hercules, is a faster, more efficient version.
"Compared to older C-130s, the C-130J climbs faster and higher, flies farther at a higher cruise speed, and takes off and lands in a shorter distance," the fact sheet said.
The C-130s are flown by the Air Force, Navy and Marines.
The Marines now fly the C-130T, but in summer 2014, the squadron will begin receiving a total of 13 of the C-130Js. Granger said the squadron will be fully operational in 2015.
The Marine C-130s are distinct from the Air National Guard's 136th Air Wing C-130 squadron, also stationed at Naval Air Station Fort Worth.
The Pentagon tried to move the Air National Guard squadron to Montana last year, only to run into a buzz saw from the Texas congressional delegation, which kept the planes in Fort Worth.