08 April 2009

First J-model C-130 arrives at Ramstein

The first U.S. Air Force C-130J to be assigned to the Ramstein Air Base fleet taxies under pressured water from two Ramstein fire trucks during a celebration ceremony, April 7, 2009. The J-model landed on Ramstein for the first time during a ceremony today held to not only honor the arrival of the new aircraft, but also a new era in operations for the 86th Airlift Wing. The ceremony also included a ribbon cutting for a new 68,000 square feet dual-bay maintenance hangar, which can hold two C-130J aircraft or one C-17. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kenny Holston.

The first of 14 J-models in production for Ramstein's 86th Airlift Wing arrived on Tuesday. It's also the first Air Force Super Hercules to be permanently stationed at an overseas air base. Over the next 12 months, the current fleet of E-model C-130s whose average age is 40 years old, will either retire from service, be moved to other units, or refurbished and provided to allies such as Poland.

"This aircraft allows us to continue and to enhance the role of airpower, and especially airlift, in this vital part of the world," said Gen. Roger Brady, U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander, who personally piloted the new aircraft into place during the ceremony.

The new plane will be the primary aircraft used for the 86th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron's medical mission.

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