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Reserve C-130J takes part in Indian air show

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- A C-130J Hercules and crew of reservists from here will participate in a hi-tech military air show in Bangalore, India, Feb. 9-13. Various models of U.S. military aircraft scheduled for static displays include the P-3C Orion, the KC-135 Stratotanker, the F15-E Strike Eagle and the C-130J Hercules, according to a Feb. 2 U.S. embassy statement.

About 50 American aircrew and support people will attend the Aero Indian International Air Show, South Asia’s premier aerospace exhibition. In addition to coming from Keesler, they are from Misawa and Kadena airbases in Japan. En route to the air show, the Air Force Reserve Command reservists will stop in the Czech Republic where they will have a chance to meet top governmental officials in Prague at an embassy dinner.

“We are honored to have this opportunity and look forward to meeting our hosts,” said Col. Michael Underkofler, commander of the 403rd Operations Group and team leader. “This is an opportunity for Air Force Reserve Command and Air Mobility Command to show the upside of the marvelous C-130J.”

U.S. military people taking part in the air show will provide aircrew, maintenance and administrative support services for the American aircraft. Tens of thousands are expected to attend the air show, and the C-130J will make more stops throughout India, working with India’s defense forces in various exercises, said 403rd Wing officials.

“The C-130J is faster, flies farther and soars higher than the previous generations of Hercules aircraft, and this trip allows another part of the world to see rapid, global mobilization at its finest,” said Lt. Col. Mike Odom, 403rd Wing public affairs officer. “With its new heads-up display and technological advancements, this aircraft is quickly becoming a favorite of transport operators and those who depend upon their capabilities.”

The 815th Airlift Squadron’s Flying Jennies, one of two flying squadrons assigned to the 403rd Wing, was selected to support the air show. Squadron C-130J’s and crews deployed to Southwest Asia on a rotational basis to support Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

The U.S. embassy statement said American military participation would promote standardization of equipment with the country’s allies and other potential coalition partners and highlights the strength of the U.S. commitment to security in the Asia-Pacific region.