RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany: Today representatives of the U.S. Air Force welcomed the first of 14 new Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules aircraft that will be permanently based at Ramstein Air Base. During a ceremony that included dignitaries from across Europe, U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) Commander Gen. Roger Brady acknowledged the C-130Js critical contribution to the mission of USAFE.

“I am especially pleased to celebrate the delivery of the first C-130J Super Hercules to the United States Air Forces in Europe. USAFE truly does bring a lot to the fight, in particular the vital airlift capability we provide in the global war on terror and vital humanitarian operations the world over. The C-130J Super Hercules will give us an even greater capacity to perform all those missions,” Brady said.

Ten C-130Js will be delivered to Ramstein this year, with four more scheduled for delivery in 2010. These 14 new Js will support the Ramstein-based 37th Airlift Squadron, 86th Airlift Wing that has been flying C-130Es. The new aircraft are the longer C-130J-30 configuration, which is now the standard for recapitalizing the USAF and many other air forces around the world.

“Today sees yet another milestone in the evolution of this amazing aircraft,” said Ross Reynolds, Lockheed Martin’s vice president for C-130 programs. “The C-130J is a proven aircraft that can meet the airlift needs of many, many countries. The greater range and cargo capacity of the C 130J provide a much needed capability to USAFE.”

C-130Js are engaged in high-tempo operations in multiple combat theaters and are routinely deployed in support of both peacekeeping and humanitarian missions. The C-130J is a proven airlifter that has been selected by 10 nations, with 173 aircraft delivered to date. The C-130J is a flexible, multimission aircraft that has been delivered in multiple and varied configurations to meet a wide range of operational needs. The C-130J fleet has accumulated over 500,000 flight hours.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 146,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.