Airmen from the New York Air National Guard's 107th Wing took their final fight in a C-130 Hercules last Thursday, Sept. 25, at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station before making the transition to operating remotely-piloted aircraft.
"It's bittersweet, because it's the last time they'll actually be flying in it," said Senior Master Sgt. Raymond Lloyd.
The 107th Airlift Wing was first organized as the 339th Air Bombardment Group of the United States Army Air Forces in Georgia during World War II. It went through multiple names, missions and bases before becoming the 107th Airlift Wing and flying C-130s.
Last week its mission changed again. Now, it will begin operating the MQ-9 "Reaper," a remotely piloted aircraft.
"It's a new stage for the 107th again," Lloyd said. "It's a new adventure for us, it's the future."
Lloyd said the new unit would likely not be operational until 2017. In the meantime, the wing's pilots and operators are going to school and its operational center will be built. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Campbell)