Governor Gianforte Announces Montana Air National Guard First Base to Receive C-130J Fleet

Governor Greg Gianforte today announced the U.S. Department of the Air Force has selected the Montana Air National Guard’s 120th Airlift Wing in Great Falls as the first base to receive the new C-130J model Super Hercules cargo aircraft.


The 120th will receive eight of the new aircraft as a one-for-one replacement of existing C-130Hs. The C-130J improves on the C-130H with additional payload capacity, more efficient engines, and improved performance.


Gov. Gianforte praised Adjutant General of the Montana National Guard, Major General J. Peter Hronek, for his work to secure the new fleet.


“Under the leadership of Maj. Gen. Hronek, the men and women of the Montana Air National Guard continue to set the highest standards when it comes to being well-trained and well-equipped to serve our state and nation,” Gov. Gianforte said. “Our state joins in the praise and celebration of their hard work to secure a world-class fleet for Montana.”


“This announcement to move the Montana Air Guard to the top of the list is a tribute to the continuous effort the airmen in Great Falls are putting into preparing for the J model aircraft,” said Maj. Gen. Hronek. “The 120th Airlift wing has distinguished itself since receiving the C-130H models in 2014. Now they will continue their mission with excitement and vigor as they welcome the finest new fleet of C-130’s in the inventory. We are full of anticipation for their future accolades.”


The Defense Appropriations Act of FY22 and FY23 appropriated 32 C-130Js for the Air National Guard. On March 24, 2023, the Director of the Air National Guard approved eight bases as potential locations for these aircraft and on September 14, 2023, the governor announced Great Falls as a preferred location.


Today’s announcement indicates that the Great Falls base has been selected as one of the four preferred locations including the 103rd Airlift Wing in Hartford, Connecticut, the 133rd Airlift Wing in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the 182nd Airlift Wing in Peoria, Illinois.


The aircrafts are scheduled to arrive to Montana in 2026.