Little Rock Air Force Base to receive four C-130J’s, will train Air National Guard crews

To honor healthcare workers battling COVID-19, the 19th Airlift Wing and the 913th Airlift...
To honor healthcare workers battling COVID-19, the 19th Airlift Wing and the 913th Airlift Group out of the Little Rock Air Force Base will fly over Northeast Arkansas on Friday, May 8.(Little Rock Air Force Base via Facebook)
Published: May. 22, 2021 at 10:01 AM CDT
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) - The Arkansas Air National Guard will be receiving four C-130J aircraft to help train crew members at the Little Rock Air Force Base, officials said Saturday morning.

According to a media release from the Arkansas Air National Guard, the 189th Airlift Wing will receive the first two aircraft in summer 2023, with the other two aircraft sometime after that.

Officials said four of the 189th Airlift Wing’s 12-aircraft fleet that are used to train crew members will be replaced with newer aircraft as part of the deal.

Both state and federal officials said the decision made by the Air Force is an important strategic move.

“I am delighted that the Air Force has recommended the new C-130 aircraft for the Little Rock Air Base,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a statement. “I know our federal delegation has worked hard on this recommendation, and I applaud their efforts. This recommendation is a recognition of the outstanding performance record of the Little Rock Air Base and the men and women who carry out the critical mission for our nation’s defense.”

Maj. Gen. Kendall Penn, who serves as the state’s Adjutant General, said the decision will help with training.

“We’re excited about the Air Force’s decision to base four C-130J’s with the 189th Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base in Jacksonville. The aircrews and maintenance personnel in the 189th are second to none, and they have an exceptional flight safety record. They’ve been training C-130 aircrews since 1986 and are internationally recognized as experts in the field,” Maj. Gen. Penn said.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee, also said the move was important.

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