The Ever Changing Role of the KC-130
MARINE CORPS COMBAT DEVELOPMENT COMMAND QUANTICO VA
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The introduction of the more capable KC-130J, coupled with the specific needs of the operational forces today, requires the community and the Marine Corps to develop an armed Marine KC-130. Marine Corps Aviation exists to support the Marine on the ground. Today, in both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operations Enduring Freedom, the Marine on the ground continues to make a plea for increased support in the areas of fires and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance ISR. Serious discussions and proposals of the Marine KC130 potentially fulfilling these shortfalls date back to at least as early as 2001. With the continued development of technology, as well as the component type nature of the KC-13OJ, the capability now exists to exploit this opportunity. Conceptually, an armed KC-130 has the ability to provide persistent ISR and fire support.
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