910th Airlift Wing Finalist for 4 New C-130J Aircraft

VIENNA, Ohio – The 910th Airlift Wing at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station may be awarded four new AFRC C-130J aircraft recently approved by Congress, but first it must win the Air Force “corporate process.”

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13 Ohio, announced late Friday that YARS is one of two finalists to receive the new aircraft. Ryan secured funding for the four planes through his position on the House Defense Appropriations Committee.

“Though we still await a final determination on which special mission will receive these four planes, the Air Force Reserve’s announcement is encouraging news and shows their support of our locally based men and women in uniforms,” Ryan said in a statement.

Also in consideration for the aircraft is the 302nd Airlift Wing at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado.

The 910th Airlift Wing is home to the Defense Department’s only large area fixed-wing aerial spray capability to control disease-carrying insects, pest insects, undesirable vegetation and to disperse oil spills in large bodies of water. The 302nd Airlift Wing is the Air Force Reserve’s only wing with the special mission of aerial firefighting employing the U.S. Forest Service’s Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System.

The Air Force Reserve Command is coordinating site surveys for Youngstown in January and Peterson in February to look at facility feasibility and cost factors, states a news release from the Command. Once the site survey visits are completed, AFRC will provide its results to the Air Force for review, validation and endorsement.

“Congressman Ryan made it clear to Air Force leaders for years that the expert warriors of the Reserve Special Missions demand expert equipment,” said Vito Abruzzino, executive director of the Eastern Ohio Military Affairs Commission, in a statement released by Ryan’s office.  “Now, the basing process needs to run its course, with the hoped-for result that the men and women of the 910th Airlift Wing in Vienna will receive these new aircraft to carry out their unique aerial spray and tactical airlift mission well into the next decade.” 

The current expectation for delivery of the new C-130Js is in 2023.

The J-model features upgraded technology not found on older model C-130s, including improved turboprop engines, propellers and digital avionics. The aircraft has greater range, a higher maximum speed and shorter takeoff and landing distances than previous C-130 models, according to the Air Force Reserve.

Pictured above: Seven C-130J Super Hercules aircraft sit on the flightline at Gulfport Combat Readiness Training Center, Mississippi, Oct. 1, 2019. Air Force Reserve Command is currently looking at basing options for four new C-130J aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Christopher Carranza)

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.