Lockheed Martin formally delivered the first HC-130J Super Hercules airlifters
to the Coast Guard in ceremonies here today. The new aircraft will serve in a number of roles for the Coast Guard, which now falls under the Department of Homeland Security
. On Dec. 17, 1903, volunteers from the Life Saving Service station
(as the Coast Guard was then called) on North Carolina's Outer Banks assisted Wilbur and Orville Wright as they prepared their flying machine for mankind's first manned, powered, sustained and controlled flight. A Coast Guardsman, John T. Daniels, even took the photograph of the first flight.
A Lockheed Martin crew flew the first HC-130J for the first time on Dec. 17, 2002, the 99th anniversary of the Wrights' epic flight, and the 100th C-130J built carries the Coast Guard tail number 2003. Four HC-130Js have been delivered, and the last two aircraft currently on contract for the Coast Guard are scheduled for delivery from the Lockheed Martin facility in Marietta, Ga., later this year.
The HC-130Js will increase Coast Guard capability in the service's primary mission areas: long-range search and rescue; law enforcement (which includes alien migrant interdiction, living marine resources and counter-drug operations); airlift; other homeland security operations as necessary; and to augment Department of Defense operations during contingencies.