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Rollout of First MC-130J: Lockheed Martin on Tuesday rolled out the Air Force's first new-build MC-130J special-mission aircraft from its assembly plant in Marietta, Ga. The company is under contract to supply 15 of these Combat Shadow II aircraft to Air Force Special Operations Command. USAF's requirement is for 37. "The MC-130J is one of the most versatile tactical airlifters in the world. Its multi-mission capabilities will increase the combat performance of special operations forces worldwide," said Lt. Gen. Donald Wurster, AFSOC commander, who was keynote speaker at the rollout ceremony. He added, "The MC-130J's advanced sensors, expanded avionics, and universal aerial refueling capability will enable the highly skilled airmen of AFSOC to operate under difficult conditions with unmatched speed and capability." The first MC-130J unit is expected to begin operations in 2012. Just last week, Lockheed announced that developmental testing had concluded for USAF's new HC-130J rescue tanker. (Lockheed release)