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Montana Air National Guard will receive new C-130J planes

MT ANG will conduct fly-overs across Montana to honor first responders
Posted at 9:15 AM, Apr 13, 2024

GREAT FALLS — Governor Greg Gianforte announced in a news release on April 11, 2024, that the Montana Air National Guard’s 120th Airlift Wing in Great Falls will be first of four bases to receive the new C-130J model Super Hercules cargo aircraft.

The 120th will receive eight of the new models as a one-for-one replacement of existing C-130Hs.

The C-130J improves on the C-130H with additional payload capacity, more efficient engines, and improved performance.

The new planes will help to “reduce manpower requirements, lower operating and support costs, and provide life-cycle cost saving over earlier C-130 models,” according to a news release from the 120th Airlift Wing.

The new aircraft will require pilots to undergo re-training due to new engines and avionic capabilities. New maintenance training will also be conducted.

The planes are scheduled to arrive in Montana in 2026.

U.S. Senator Jon Tester of Montana said in a news release: “The brave guardsmen and women serving at Montana Air National Guard deserve top-flight tools to help keep our state and country safe. The C-130Js are a big plane with a big mission, and I’m looking forward to seeing the fleet up and running to help ensure a big state like Montana remains the greatest state in the greatest country in the world.”"

U.S. Senator Steve Daines of Montana said in a news release: "This is great news for Malmstrom, Great Falls and all of Montana. The new C-130s will be right at home in Montana and were it not for the leadership of Governor Gianforte, Maj. Gen Hronek and his entire team, this would not have been possible. Our airmen and facilities are second to none in the country so I cannot think of a better place for this new and improved version of the C-130.”

Eight C-130J aircraft will be used to recapitalize the C-130H fleet at each of the four locations.

In addition to the Montana unit, the following will also receive the new planes: 103rd Airlift Wing in Hartford, Connecticut; 133rd Airlift Wing in Minneapolis, Minnesota; and 182nd Airlift Wing in Peoria, Illinois.