The first C-130J assigned to the U.S. Air Forces in Europe is now on the ramp of its home base at Ramstein AB in Germany.
The aircraft (tail number 8601) is assigned to the 86th Airlift Wing. USAFE is slated to receive 14 of the latest-model Hercules, with the rest in-bound during the next 12 months, replacing E-models which will be retired or shifted to other locations.
The Air Force points out that this is also the first C-130J to be permanently based at an overseas location.
The USAFE fleet is likely to see a lot of duty, including outside Europe. USAFE provides airlift support to Africa Command and, U.S. Air Force official have pointed out the J-models improved performance will be particularly beneficial for those activities.
As part of the celebration, USAFE also inaugurated a $22 million maintenance facility that can accommodate one C-17 or two C-130Js.