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123rd gains aircraft from Tennessee

Aircrew members and aircraft maintenance personnel inspect a former Tennessee Air Guard C-130 on the flight line of the Kentucky Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Ky., on July 25, 2012. The plane was transferred to Kentucky following a mission realignment at the Nashville-based 118th Airlift Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Phil Speck)

Aircrew members and aircraft maintenance personnel inspect a former Tennessee Air Guard C-130 on the flight line of the Kentucky Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Ky., on July 25, 2012. The plane was transferred to Kentucky following a mission realignment at the Nashville-based 118th Airlift Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Phil Speck)

Tennessee Air National Guard Master Sgt. Roy Roberts, a flight engineer for the 118th Airlift Wing, points out some differences in the configuration of a C-130 Hercules ???Super E" aircraft to Kentucky Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Daniel Wormley, a flight engineer for the 165th Airlift Squadron, at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Ky., on July 26, 2012.  The Kentucky Air National Guard, which already flies the C-130 ???H??? model, acquired the older Super E aircraft from the Tennessee Air National Guard. (Kentucky Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Phil Speck)

Tennessee Air National Guard Master Sgt. Roy Roberts, a flight engineer for the 118th Airlift Wing, points out some differences in the configuration of a C-130 Hercules “Super E” aircraft to Kentucky Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Daniel Wormley, a flight engineer for the 165th Airlift Squadron, at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Ky., on July 26, 2012. The Kentucky Air National Guard, which already flies the C-130 ‘H’ model, acquired the older Super E aircraft from the Tennessee Air National Guard. (Kentucky Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Phil Speck)

KENTUCKY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The 123rd Airlift Wing added a ninth C-130 to its stable of aircraft July 25 when the unit took delivery of a Hercules transport from the Tennessee Air Guard, and officials expect a 10th plane to arrive here by the end of August.

Both aircraft have been reassigned from the Nashville-based 118th Airlift Wing, which is converting its mission from tactical airlift to remotely piloted aircraft, intelligence and cyber warfare, according to the National Guard Bureau. Other Nashville C-130s are being sent to the Georgia Air Guard's 165th Airlift Wing and the 156th Airlift Wing in Puerto Rico.

It's not clear how long Kentucky will get to keep the aircraft, and no additional manning or funding is initially being provided with the airframes, said Col. Greg Nelson, commander of the 123rd Airlift Wing.

But Nelson said he's pleased Kentucky was chosen to receive the aircraft. The 123rd originally had 12 C-130s before losing four to another Air Force-wide redistribution plan in 2005.

"The National Guard Bureau knows that we are interested in growing our wing, and they know we have all the facilities and infrastructure to go back to 12 airplanes," Nelson said.

"We look to use these additional aircraft in support of both Air Mobility Command and National Guard Bureau missions. Every time they give us an aircraft, we're going to fly it, we're going to do the mission and we're going to demonstrate every single day that we're ready to grow our wing."

The Tennessee planes, which once served as WC-130 weather reconnaissance aircraft, are currently configured as Super E models, Nelson said.

Their avionics, radar systems and communications equipment differ from those of Kentucky's H-model C-130s, but the propulsion systems are identical.

Personnel from the 118th Airlift Wing are providing local training here to familiarize Kentucky Airmen with the airframe differences, which Nelson called "minimal."