Montana Air National Guard C-130 conversion complete - KRTV News in Great Falls, Montana

Montana Air National Guard C-130 conversion complete

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MT ANG C-130 (MTN News file photo) MT ANG C-130 (MTN News file photo)

Two years ago, the Montana Air National Guard began the process of changing its mission from a fighter wing to an airlift wing. 

Saturday marked the end of the conversion process and now MANG's C-130 mission is fully operational. 

"The conversion process is complete. There will be some conversion-related projects that will continue well into the future," said Col. Lee Smith, 120th Airlift Wing Commander. 

Those projects include completing construction on a new hangar and also finishing remodeling one of their old hangars that has been there since 1957.

"The contractor is remodeling and upgrading the existing portion of the hangar," said Major Todd Mortag, 120th Civil Engineering Squadron Commander. "Then behind you is where an 8,000 square foot addition has been accomplished." 

The expansion makes it possible for one C-130 to be fully enclosed in the hangar for different maintenance work. 

Along with this project they wanted to consolidate maintenance for the aircraft into one area. 

"There is going to be an avionic area, a machine shop, a tool room, and supply area. So there are a lot of functions in this building," Mortag said. 

The new hangar is right next door and it will be used for maintaining the aircraft's exterior and fuel cells. 

"Without these facilities and with the new mission of C-130 aircraft we are not able to accomplish the vast majority of aircraft maintenance here in Great Falls," Mortag said. 

By next year, maintenance personnel will be able to do all the work they need in-house and not have to travel to other bases to do the work.

"I am fantastically proud. They have not only accomplished a lot but they have done it extremely well," Smith said. 

The Montana Air National Guard is preparing for their first deployment with the C-130's.

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