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New combat squadron stands up at Little Rock

4/6/2007 - LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. (AFNEWS) -- The 41st Airlift Squadron became the newest unit of the 463rd Airlift Group at Little Rock Air Force Base in a ceremony April 6 as well as being named the first active-duty combat C-130J Hercules squadron in the Air Force.

The 41st AS moved here from Pope AFB, N.C., due to the Base Realignment and Closure process.

The Airmen of the 41st AS, known as the Black Cats, bring a distinguished history to the base as the third oldest and one of the most highly decorated airlift squadrons in U.S. military history. 

The squadron's move is the first major change the base has experienced as a result of the latest round of BRAC recommendations.

Amongst a sea of Airmen, distinguished visitors, past 41st AS commanders and extended family, Lt. Col. Daniel Tulley assumed command.

During the next six months, the 41st AS will focus on moving in, qualifying aircrews and increasing readiness, Colonel Tulley said.

The 41st AS brings 155 Airmen and 16 C-130Js aircraft. The squadron will gain 15 more in the future.

The C-130 primarily performs the tactical portion of the Air Force's airlift mission. The 463rd Airlift Group has recently been credited with replacing more than 5,500 convoys in Iraq and Afghanistan with the older C-130E and C-130H3 aircraft. The C-130 is capable of operating from rough, dirt strips and is the prime transport for air dropping troops and equipment into hostile areas. 

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