MARIETTA, Ga., October 15, 2008 -- The Italian Air Force has achieved 75,000 flight hours with its fleet of Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft, amassing an impressive record that includes the first combat missions flown in the C-130J and the delivery of humanitarian relief supplies.Italy's 46th Air Brigade put its first C-130J into service in August 2008 and now operates 22 Super Hercules. With its operations, Italy has contributed to the development of tactics for the "J" during the past eight years.Lockheed Martin's vice president for C-130J Programs, Ross Reynolds, attended a special ceremony in Pisa, Italy, today to celebrate this significant operational milestone of 75,000 flight hours. At the ceremony, Reynolds praised the 46th Air Brigade for its accomplishments. "Seventy five thousand flight hours is a tremendous achievement," said Reynolds. "From your unrelenting missions out of Herat in support of allied troops in Afghanistan, to the Ridare la luce medical missions in Africa, you are truly the operator by which all other C-130J operators are measured."Reynolds presented the 46th with a large scale C-130J model that will stand in the entrance to the National Training Centre in Pisa, where C-130J aircrew and maintainers train. Since 2004, the centre has provided more than 800 hours of training and graduates approximately 150 pilots a year.Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2007 sales of $41.9 billion.
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