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130th Airlift Wing Exercises Combat Power in Newest C-130J

  • Published
  • By Maj. Holli Nelson
  • West Virginia National Guard

ALPENA, Mich. – Sixty-three Airmen and two C-130J-30s Super Hercules from the 130th Airlift Wing participated in Agile Rage 2022 June 6-19 in the first Air National Guard Readiness Exercise Program focused on decentralized command and control and distributed military operations.

The Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center exercise marked a significant step in the unit’s conversion to the C-130J-30 aircraft. It was the first opportunity to simulate a combat deployment for newly trained aircrew, maintainers, and support Airmen in air delivery operations.

“Agile Rage 2022 was a milestone in our conversion to the new C-130J-30 Super Hercules,” said Col. Bryan Preece, commander of the 130th Airlift Wing. “Providing aircrew members experience in operations in a simulated high-threat environment while also affording our aircraft maintainers and air transportation personnel the opportunity to support this mission was invaluable.

“All members of the 130th Airlift Wing accomplished real-world training that will bolster their ability to fight and win in a contested environment,” Preece said.

Agile Rage 22 is a National Guard Bureau-led exercise that provides realistic training to mimic combat environments and enhance combat readiness dictated by the National Defense Strategy.

The exercise included joint intelligence operations, airspace control, search and rescue coordination, intra-theater airlift, joint fires, close air support, interdiction of enemy capabilities, and Agile Combat Employment.

The 130th Airlift Wing conducted formation flying, integrated missions with A-10 Thunderbolt II’s, austere location takeoff and landing, equipment drops, cargo and personnel movement, and engine running on- and off-loading.

Airmen also experienced collaborative and integrated training with personnel and aircraft from 12 other states and Air Force Special Warfare and special tactics.

In 2020, the U.S. Air Force selected the 130th Airlift Wing to receive eight C-130J-30 Super Hercules aircraft and transition aircrew, maintenance, and support personnel from the 1990s-era H3-model to the new J-model. The wing has received all eight aircraft and will complete the conversion process in 2023.