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North Dakota Air National Guard to See Future Mission Aircraft with C-27J Spartan Visit

Fargo, N.D. -- On Friday, the 119th Wing of the North Dakota National Guard will host a C-27J Spartan as part of a Familiarization Tour of bases who will be flying the aircraft in the future. The tour will include briefings and familiarization flights for 119th Wing Airmen to see and ride on the aircraft that is scheduled to become a future mission for the Happy Hooligans.

Gov. John Hoeven, Maj.Gen. David Sprynczynatyk, N.D. adjutant general and other National Guard leadership will be in attendance to see the new aircraft with the Airmen.

"The Airmen of the 119th Wing have successfully completed previous missions on behalf of our state and nation and will continue that same level of excellence and distinction with the C-27J Spartan mission," said Hoeven. "The C-27 will not only be a valuable asset in the defense of our nation, but will also assist the National Guard in its response to emergencies here at home."

After ending their 60-year fighter aircraft mission in 2007, the Happy Hooligans began flying the C-21 Lear Jet as a bridge mission to keep the pilots and the aircraft maintainers certified until the new C-27 mission begins at the 119th Wing in early 2013.

"As in any other aircraft conversion for the past 60 years, the Happy Hooligans have successfully met every challenge assigned to them," said Sprynczynatyk.

"They continue to surpass expectations with their MQ-1 Predator mission and were recognized by the Department of Defense as the 2009 Joint Operational Support Airlift Center Squadron of the Year after just a couple of years of flying the C-21. I am confident that the 119th Wing will continue the tradition of Hooligan excellence when it begins to operate C-27J Spartan aircraft."

The Airmen of the 119th Wing have been preparing for the C-27 mission since 2007 and they are anxious to see the aircraft of their future, said Col. Rick Gibney, 119th Wing commander, as he explained how the Happy Hooligans have overcome drastic transitions in the past several years with mission changes.

"These changes have made us a stronger organization," Gibney added. "To stay relevant you must adapt to a changing environment. Our Airmen have brilliantly met the challenge of new missions in the past four years and we'll be ready for the next mission of the C-27."

In addition to Fargo, the familiarization tour will also stop at the following future C-27 Air National Guard bases in Mississippi, Michigan and Connecticut.

The tour is being conducted by L-3 Platform Integration, Alenia North America, and the companies' joint venture, Global Military Aircraft Systems (GMAS).

Media is invited to attend this event.

There will be a presentation about the C-27J Spartan at 8 a.m. and an aircraft familiarization tour on the flight line following the presentation. Please meet Penny Ripperger, 119th Wing public affairs officer, at the front gate at 7:45 a.m. to be escorted to the presentation.

If you have any questions about this event, contact Ripperger at 701-451-2194.

About the C-27J Spartan

The C-27J is a mid-range, multifunctional and interoperable aircraft able to perform logistical re-supply medical evacuation, troop movement, airdrop operations, humanitarian assistance and homeland security missions for the U.S. Air Force. The C-27J is essential to the U.S. Air Force's ability to provide on-demand transport of time-sensitive/mission-critical cargo and key personnel to forward deployed units.

When not deployed in support of intra-theater missions, C-27J aircraft will be available for national and international disaster response and homeland security needs.

The L-3 and Alenia C-27J Team have delivered five initial aircraft since 2008. In July 2010, the U.S. Air Force placed an order worth more than $200 million for eight additional aircraft, which increases the total number of U.S. Air Force C-27Js under contract to 21. The aircraft are scheduled for delivery in series between October 2010 and April 2013. Each of the aircraft ordered includes the specialized equipment needed to support medical evacuation, troop movement and air drop missions.

The U.S. Air Force plans to acquire at least 38 multi-role C-27Js. Currently four C-27Js are scheduled to be based at the 119th Wing.
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