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Falls air base says goodbye to C-130s

File photo

An era came to an end Thursday at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station. Members of the New York National Guard's 107th Airlift Wing made their final flight in a C-130 transport plane. Wing Commander Colonel John Higgins said he has mixed emotions about navigating his last C-130 flight. But Higgins says the 107th is getting a "new and exciting mission" flying MQ-9s.

"Remotely piloted aircraft is what we call them because they are manned, versus drones. That implies that they're not manned. These are flown and it takes several people to fly these things between the sensor operator and the pilot. So they're always controlled by the pilot," Higgins said.

Higgins says in the transition, about 220 positions were lost. He says he hopes to get some of the jobs back in newer missions.

The 107th's final C-130 flight landed at the Falls Air Base at around 2:30 p.m. Thursday. Per tradition, the aircraft passed under an arch of water sprayed by the base fire trucks.