Up to Ten (10) USAF C130J Aircraft Capable of Spray Missions
These military aircraft are NOT part of NOAA Fleet
The USAF C130J is the newest generation of the C-130 Hercules which primarily performs the tactical portion of the airlift mission.
Capable of Aerial Spray missions.
Another critical piece of weather equipment on board the WC-130J is the dropsonde system.
U.S. Air Force Reserve’s Swing-Role C-130J Hurricane Hunters
The mission is summed up by one airman as “earth, wind and fire,” because its C-130s often double as airlifters and special-purpose aircraft assigned to weather reconnaissance, aerial firefighting and spraying duties.
The WC-130J on hand, Tail No. 85307, is one of 10 Weatherbirds assigned to the tactical airlift wing at Keesler AFB, Mississippi. Reporting to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, the aircrews crisscross the four-engine turboprop through the eyes of tropical storms and hurricanes, reportedly improving the accuracy of weather prediction models by 20-30%. The WC-130J was joined at Andrews by an AFRC C-130H aerial firefighter from Peterson AFB, Colorado, and an aerial spraying aircraft from Youngstown Air Force Reserve Station, Ohio.?
Three (3) NOAA Hurricane Hunters
NOAA’s two Lockheed WP-3D Orion four-engine turboprop aircraft, affectionately nicknamed "Kermit" (N42RF) and "Miss Piggy" (N43RF), probe every wind
NOAA’s Gulfstream IV-SP (G-IV) which can fly high, fast and far with a range of 4,000 nautical miles and a cruising altitude of 45,000 ft., paints a detailed picture of weather systems in the upper atmosphere surrounding developing hurricanes. The G-IV’s data also supplement the critical low altitude research data that are collected by NOAA’s P-3s .
NOAA aircraft in the hangar at the NOAA Aircraft Operations Center in Lakeland, Florida.
The P-3s and G-IV are based at NOAA’s Aircraft Operations Center (AOC) at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. AOC is part of NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, which includes civilians as well as officers of the NOAA Corps, one of the nation’s seven uniformed services.
Photo C-130J Air Force Reserve Command on ground with 2nd 130j landing.