Lockheed Martin delivers 1st of 8 C-130Js to GA Air National Guard

Five men in suits and military uniforms stand in front of a C-130J-30, a large gray turboprop aircraft

photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin recently delivered the first of eight scheduled C-130J-30 Super Hercules tactical airlifters to the Georgia Air National Guard.

The C-130J series is manufactured at the Lockheed Martin facility in Marietta.

According to the press release for the ceremony:


The 165th Airlift Wing ― the first C-130 operator in the state of Georgia — received its initial Hercules in 1975 and has operated several variants over the years. The Savannah-based unit will now operate the C-130J-30 Super Hercules, which offers unprecedented power, space, integration and versatility.

“Today’s delivery of this C-130J-30 Super Hercules is another symbol of Lockheed Martin’s long-term commitment to the Hercules’ home state. On behalf of our 6,000+ Georgia employees, it is an honor to deliver this Georgia-built, Georgia-flown aircraft to Savannah’s 165th Airlift Wing,” said Rod McLean, vice president and general manager for Lockheed Martin’s Air Mobility & Maritime Missions line of business and its Marietta production site. “The addition of the C-130J Super Hercules, the most advanced Hercules ever produced, to the Georgia Air National Guard’s fleet enables its crews deliver hope and help ― all over the world for many years to come.”

The 165th Airlift Wing operates the first all-C-130J-30 Super Hercules fleet in Georgia. The C-130J-30 is the stretch version of the C-130J that adds 15 feet of cargo space to support airlift mission requirements.

“Marty, the girls and I are grateful for the service and dedication of the men and women of the Georgia Air National Guard every day,” Gov. Brian Kemp said. “Today’s delivery of a C-130J-30 Super Hercules means our brave servicemembers will now fly the most advanced Hercules aircraft in history, proudly built right here in the State of Georgia at Lockheed Martin’s historic Marietta manufacturing facility. I’m proud the longest continuously produced military aircraft in American history is now both Georgia-built and Georgia-flown, supporting our state’s continued growth as a national leader in military, defense and aerospace.”

“I join with Maj. Gen. Carden, Maj. Gen. Crumbly, the Lockheed Martin team, IAM Local 709 and the entire community in celebrating the delivery of this new C-130J for our Georgia Air National Guard,” U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff said.  “In 2022, Sen. Warnock and I added funding for 16 new C-130J aircraft and an additional 16 in 2023. I will continue to champion the C-130J program in Congress, and this new aircraft will help our National Guard defend the United States,” 

“Since I came to Congress, I have fiercely advocated for increased C-130 procurement, due to its importance in strengthening our national security. The C-130J Super Hercules is the most capable airlifter in the world. Every aircraft made represents the hard work of 5,500 Georgians at Lockheed Martin’s Marietta facility located right here in the 11th Congressional District,” U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk (GA-11) said. “This new aircraft also represents a major increase in capability for the men and women of Georgia’s Air National Guard, who will now count the most advanced C-130 ever built as part of its newest fleet. I want to thank Georgia Adjutant General Thomas Carden for his partnership in securing this major victory for Georgia and our nation.”

The press release states:

The U.S. Air National Guard, which has one of the most visible and active C-130 fleets in the world, continues to operate a mixed C-130J and C-130H fleet. The addition of the C-130J-30 Super Hercules to the Air National Guard fleet ensures these crews will continue to support the Guard’s motto of “Always Ready, Always There” for decades to come.

“The future is now, and the Georgia National Guard is more prepared than ever to answer the call with the cutting-edge, C-130J Super Hercules-enabled airlift. I’m so proud of the Airmen at 165th Airlift Wing and thankful to all those our who have worked tirelessly to make this happen,” said Maj. Gen. Tom Carden, adjutant general of the Georgia Department of Defense.

Lockheed Martin and Cobb County

The Lockheed Martin facility in Marietta has been a major employer in Cobb County since 1951, when the Lockheed Corporation, a predecessor of Lockheed Martin, took over the former site of the WWII Bell Bomber plant.

The C-130 program is the largest program operating at the Marietta facility. The plant currently produces the C-130J Super Hercules (see the company’s Fast Facts on the C-130J or the C-30J brochure for more information).

The Marietta plant also supports the C-5 Galaxy, which celebrated its 50th year in operation in 2018. The C-5 Galaxy is expected to remain in service until 2045.

The Marietta location also supports the P-3 Orion and manufactures the center wings for the F-35.