The C-130 Hercules primarily performs the intratheater portion of the airlift mission. The aircraft is capable of operating from rough, dirt strips and is the prime transport for paradropping troops ... and equipment into hostile areas. Basic and specialized versions perform a diversity of roles, including airlift support, DEW Line and Arctic ice resupply, aeromedical missions, aerial spray missions, fire-fighting duties for the US Forest Service, and natural disaster relief missions. In recent years, they have been used to bring humanitarian relief to many countries, including Haiti, Bosnia, Somalia, and Rwanda.
Four decades have elapsed since the Air Force issued its original design specification, yet the remarkable C-130 remains in production. The turbo-prop, high-wing, versatile "Herc" has accumulated over 20 million flight hours. It is the preferred transport aircraft for many US Government services and over 60 foreign countries. The basic airframe has been modified to hundreds of different configurations to meet an ever-changing environment and mission requirement. The C-130 Hercules has unsurpassed versatility, performance, and mission effectiveness. Early C-130A, B, and D versions are now retired.
[Text provided by: http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/c-130.htm ]
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