U.S. Senator Jon Tester has announced that the Montana Air National Guard Base (MANG) in Great Falls will add eight C-130J aircraft.

Senator Tester has advocated modernizing MANG's aging C-130H fleet, emphasizing the critical importance of these new assets for Montana's safety and preparedness.

Keeping Montanans safe is my top priority, and that means making sure our armed forces and Montana military installations have the tools they need to address evolving threats and protect our state and country," stated Senator Tester. He continued, "I've fought for years to bring new C-130Js to the Montana Air National Guard because they are the perfect fit for Montana – they can carry up to 45,000 pounds of cargo, can be used to fight wildfires, and can conduct search and rescue operations. It's a big plane with a big mission – and it's the right fit for a big state like Montana.

As the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, Tester prioritized acquiring C-130Js for Montana.

He secured over $1.7 billion in funding for 16 C-130Js in the most recent FY23 Appropriations Package, building on the $1.8 billion in funding for 16 C-130Js for the Air National Guard secured in the FY22 Appropriations Package.

In 2020, Tester announced that MANG was among the eight finalists being considered to receive new C-130J aircraft to replace the aging C-130H fleet.

With the imminent arrival of these eight C-130J aircraft, the Montana Air National Guard Base in Great Falls is poised to play an even more critical role in safeguarding both the state and the nation, bolstering its capabilities to respond to a wide range of challenges and emergencies.

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