Cambridgeshire bids farewell to latest US Navy Blue Angels recruit as it returns home
- Credit: Archant
Cambridgeshire gave a fond farewell to the US Navy Blue Angels’ C-130J after the aircraft made its way back home today (Tuesday).
The aircraft had been in Cambridge since last year while the team at Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group carried out maintenance and minor modification work, such as repainting its iconic Blue Angels’ livery.
Since it was purchased by the US Navy from the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD), the C-130J will now join the Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron (NFDS) to provide improved support to the display team.
Alistair McPhee, CEO of Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group, said: “The aircraft looked absolutely stunning as it left.
“We are delighted to have been able to use our experience and expertise to support the US Navy in bringing its new C-130J into service and I am sure, like its predecessor, it will prove a valuable asset for many years to come.”
The display team’s C-130 pilots and engineers arrived in Cambridge in June to conduct a series of maintenance tests, prior to flying the aircraft back to its base in Pensacola, Florida.
Air Marshal Sir Julian Young, Director General Air for Defence, Equipment and Support, said: “The UK MOD was proud to work alongside multiple stakeholders to help deliver this great aircraft to the United States Navy Blue Angels.
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“This C-130J aircraft served the Royal Air Force well over the years, and I am delighted that following a refurb it will now go on to serve another military force.
“With its new livery, I’m sure the new Blue Angels C-130J will turn heads wherever it goes.”
The aircraft, an ex-Royal Air Force C-130J Super Hercules, will be replacing the older model C-130T as the Blue Angels’ official chaperone, as the C-130 celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.
It will also take part in the display team’s flying performances, as well as being a support aircraft, carrying tools, spare parts and engineers.
Major General Greg Masiello, program executive officer air ASW, assault and special mission programs, said: “This has been a great example of cooperation between allies and professionals.
“The team has worked through challenges to deliver this high-visibility asset to our fleet, and provide us with a new aircraft to support our NFDS for years to come.
“We are pleased to deliver this Super Hercules as the Blue Angels transition to Super Blues. Definitely a job well done by all involved.”