Air Force Reserve Receives First HC-130J Combat King II

Super Herculean Milestone

Air Force Reserve Receives First HC-130J Combat King II

Hercules history was made on April 2, when a crew from the 920th Rescue Wing (RQW) from Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, accepted delivery of the U.S. Air Force Reserve Command's first HC-130J Combat King II search and rescue aircraft. This HC-130J will be operated by the 39th Rescue Squadron (RQS), which is part of the 920th RQW.

These Reservists are long-time operators of legacy HC-130 P/N Combat King combat search-and-rescue aircraft, flying and maintaining HC-130s since the 1960s — using HC-130s to save more than 3,000 lives. The HC-130J is the sole dedicated fixed-wing personnel recovery platform operated by the Air Force, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard.

The 920th RQW and 39th RQS also have the distinction of being the Air Force Reserve’s only HC-130J operators and will eventually have an HC-130J fleet to support mission requirements.

Like others in the U.S. Air Force Rescue community, the 920th RQW and the 39th RQS live by the motto, "That Others May Live," which reflects the mission of supporting combat search and rescue anywhere in the world. These crews rely on HC-130s to also extend the range its HH-60 Pave Hawk combat search and rescue helicopters, which were manufactured by Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky business in Stratford, Connecticut.  

Often tasked for airdrop, airland, and helicopter air-to-air refueling and forward-area ground refueling missions, the HC-130’s mission capabilities also include humanitarian aid operations, disaster response, security cooperation/aviation advisory, emergency aeromedical evacuation and noncombatant evacuation operations.

“As we salute one fleet for a lifetime’s worth of work, we are also excited to commemorate a new era with the arrival of the 920th’s first HC-130J Combat King II,” said Rod McLean, vice president and general manager, Air Mobility & Maritime Missions at Lockheed Martin. “This HC-130J provides the 920th’s Citizen Airmen with increased power, capability and performance to continue to support critical missions close to home and around the world.”