The skies above Western New York will soon be missing the familiar sound of the mighty C-130 Hercules. This morning, members the 914th Airlift Wing, based at Niagra Falls Air Reserve Station left for their final deployment in the Herk. The unit will be switching to the KC-135 Stratotanker. Although it will be a bittersweet transition, maintaining a flying mission will be fantastic, considering the amount of units that have become part of a history book in recent years. Wishing a safe deployment and transition to the 914th!

Military C-130 transport planes have been flying out of the Niagara Falls air base for more than 40 years.

That will end Monday when four of the aircraft leave on what will be the final C-130 deployment for the 914th Airlift Wing.

Master Sergeant Jay of the USAF thinks that the sound of a C-130 flying over you is one of the greatest sounds in the world. “This is all I have known for 20 years as far as being a military man on active duty and on reserve so so long to take it over there for the last time for the last time and do some stuff will be pretty cool.”

914th Airlift Wing's Final C-130 Deployment
The 914th Airlift Wing will become the 914th Air Refueling Wing, reconstituting with the KC-135 Stratotanker. (Photo by Scott Wolff)

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.

Bill Wagner, who is the Vice Chair of Niagara Military Affairs Council feels as if this will be good for business. “Having a refueling mission of the KC-135’s coming to the area means that the length of the mission is going to be substantially longer we think than the C-130 mission.”

The original article can be read in its entirety at WKBW Buffalo right here.
(Featured Photo by Jonathan Derden)