MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. - A Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point squadron received recognition recently for its contribution to a one in a million milestone. Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 received a framed Commemorative coin from Lockheed Martin Corp. Jan. 8, recognizing the squadron’s role in the C-130 Hercules’ recent millionth flight-hour.
Representatives with Lockheed Martin Corp., a global security, aerospace and information technology company, presented the framed coin to Lt. Col. Walter Butler, commanding officer of VMGR-252, signifying the squadron’s role in the accomplishment.
“This is a great honor for the squadron,” said Butler. “When I first got here, I had over two thousand hours on the legacy which was the previous aircraft. It was kind of hard to transition to something much newer but, after deploying with it, I have become a much stronger advocate for this aircraft because of what it can do.”
Butler looks toward the future of the squadron and aircraft and hopes to see other accomplishments, he said.
“As we continue down the path and do greater things with the C-130, this platform will continue to be here,” said Butler. “When you look at aircraft from the past and present, you realize that someday your children or grandchildren might be flying these.”
The Marine Corps as a whole adopted the C-130 in the 1950s, flying roughly 290 aircraft in different variations in support of at least 13 major operations as part of its contribution to the million flight-hour mark, according to Ray Fajay, director of U.S. government air mobility development with Lockheed Martin Corp.
“Going into spring of last year, the C-130 operation fleet literally soared into a new milestone,” said Fajay. “We reached one million flight hours in the operational fleet and VMGR-252 was a part of that.”
The C-130 is a four-engine military transport aircraft capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings. VMGR-252 adopted the aircraft, which can hold up to 3,600 gallons of fuel, in October 1961 and uses it for aerial refueling purposes.
“The C-130 is truly a proven aircraft without equal anywhere around the world,” said Fajay.