Sep 13, 2013 7:01 PM by Cody Proctor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
GREAT FALLS - Four F-15 fighter jets took off on Friday morning from Great Falls, leaving the remaining number of Montana Air National Guard jets at eight.
Two more are expected to leave next week with another two scheduled for maintenance before moving to their new home with the 144th Fighter Wing in Fresno, California.
The first round of F-15s left Montana in June; the final four F-15s are scheduled to leave in October.
Replacing the jets at MT ANG will be eight C-130 cargo planes.
Major Cody Smith of the 120th Fighter Wing expects the C-130s to arrive in 2014, either in late winter or early spring.
With the new cargo planes come changes, including retraining some of the pilots and construction to accommodate the larger aircraft.
"A unit converting from fighters to C-130s is unique," said Maj. Smith. "While it's not unheard of, it is still unique and so they're working their way through it."