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40 years of history comes to an end today in Niagara Falls

136th Airlift Squadron

Military C-130 transport planes have been flying out of the Niagara Falls Air reserve Station for more than 40 years. That ends today when four of the aircraft leave on what will be the final C-130 deployment for the 914th Airlift Wing. 

"These airframes have provided 40 years of dedicated service to the nation and the people of Western New York," said 914th Commander Brian Bowman. "It's important to myself and the thousands of people who were associated with these aircraft that we honor this event."

The C-130 Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings. Originally designed for troop, medivac and cargo transport, these aircraft have utilized Airmen as pilots, navigators, loadmasters, flight engineers and medical evacuation personnel to perform many of the unique functions the 914th provides.

The wing is switching to flying KC-135 refueling tankers as part of a new mission that's seen as crucial to the future of the air base. The Air Force is retiring some of the C-130 fleet to save money.

"The C-130s have served this unit well," said Bowman. "Many changes and innovations will affect this installation in the future and these types of occasions allow personnel the chance to look back on the past while focusing on the future.

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