New Squadron, New Aircraft

Photo by John Rossino

The first HC-130J Combat King II personnel recovery aircraft was delivered to the newly established 415th Special Operations Squadron at Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, in ceremonies on 29 September 2011. The aircraft (Air Force serial number 09-0109) was flown from the Lockheed Martin facility in Marietta, Georgia, to the base in Albuquerque by Maj. Gen. Mark S. Solo, the commander of 19th Air Force, which is responsible for US Air Force pilot and aircrew training. Kirtland will be the crew training base for both the HC-130J and the MC-130J Combat Shadow II special operations tanker/transport. The aircraft delivered to Kirtland is one of eleven HC-130Js on order. The 415th SOS will eventually receive three HC-130Js and four MC-130Js.

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