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Published October 15 2010

119th Wing gets look at cargo plane that will become new mission in 2013

FARGO – The North Dakota Air National Guard’s 119th Wing in Fargo is getting a sneak peek today at the cargo plane that will become its new mission in 2013.

Gov. John Hoeven and Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk, adjutant general of the North Dakota National Guard, were among those treated to a flight aboard the C-27J Spartan.

It’s about half the size of the better-known C-130 Hercules and far more versatile and maneuverable – as the guest passengers found out when the pilot performed steep climbs, hard banks and even a barrel roll.

“The experience was incredible. I didn’t know what to expect, and I’m just overwhelmed by its capability,” Sprynczynatyk said.

Sprynczynatyk and Hoeven said the versatile plane, which can transport up to 46 combat troops or two Humvees at a time, will be used not only for homeland security but also for disaster response.

“Using something like this would be great getting vehicles and people from one end of the state to another during a flood,” Sprynczynatyk said.

The 119th Wing’s “Happy Hooligans” ended their 60-year fighter aircraft mission in 2007 and are flying the C-21 Learjet and unmanned aerial vehicles as a bridge mission to keep pilots and maintenance crews certified until the C-27J mission begins in early 2013.

Read the full story in Saturday’s Forum and on in-forum.com.