The Georgia Air National Guard’s 165th Airlift Wing began recapitalizing its C-130H fleet with newer airframes that incorporate more modern avionics, according to a unit release. “With the replacements we are gaining enhanced navigational capability, electronic flight instrumentation, whereas before all of our gages were analog, and improved autopilot system,” said 165th AW pilot and inspector general Lt. Col. Jonathan Drew. “These upgrades will significantly contribute to how the 165th AW executes our state and federal missions and allow us to be better prepared for worldwide contingencies,” added 165th AW Commander Col. Rainer Gomez. The newer C-130H2.5/H.3s are on average 15 years newer than the wing’s current fleet. The first of the eight newer airframes—previously assigned to the 302nd AW at Peterson AFB, Colo.—arrived at Savannah Hilton Head Arpt., Ga., Oct. 15. The fleet swap-out should be complete by the end of 2016, according to the unit.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.