Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets members in Air Force ROTC Detachment 875 at the university will receive an orientation flight on an Air Force C-130J "Super Hercules" aircraft on Saturday, March 21.

An aircrew and plane from the 48th Airlift Squadron at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., will fly this four engine turbo-prop aircraft to the Roanoke (Va.) Airport to provide these orientation flights.

Approximately 120 cadets in the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets and Air Force ROTC program will enjoy these familiarization flights. The flights are intended to motivate and educate Air Force cadets about the Air Force and its mission. For some of Virginia Tech’s cadets, this may be their only flight in an Air Force aircraft before entering active duty.

The C-130J primarily performs tactical airlift missions; however, it can be configured for many different missions such as weather reconnaissance, aeromedical, airlift support, disaster relief, and humanitarian missions. The C-130J, the newest in the C-130 series, entered the Air Force inventory in 1999 and incorporates state-of-the-art technology to reduce manpower requirements and lower operating and support costs.

The C-130J will be visible overhead from parts of the Virginia Tech campus on Saturday, March 21. The flights will launch and recover from the Roanoke Airport and then will be briefly overhead in the vicinity of the university’s Blacksburg, Va., campus. The first sighting will likely occur at approximately 10:45 a.m. and be in the area for just a few minutes. This will be repeated three more times during the day at approximately 12:05 a.m., 1:25 p.m., and 2:45 p.m.

Virginia Tech cadets will be at the airport from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 21 for these flights and cadets from several local high school JROTC units will receive a tour of the aircraft at the Roanoke Airport between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m.

Written by Capt. Kim Pond.