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Montana Air National Guard Airmen, C-130s to support Southwest Asia airlift operations

Airmen from the 120th Airlift Wing board a C-17 from Travis Air Force Base June 28, 2019 that took them to Southwest Asia. Approximately 130 Airmen and four C-130s will spend four months on this deployment.

Four C-130s and approximately 130 Airmen left for Southwest Asia for a four month deployment the week of June 24, 2019. (U.S. Air National Guard photo/Capt. Cassandra Ross)

Airmen from the 120th Airlift Wing board a C-17 from Travis Air Force Base June 28, 2019 that took them to Southwest Asia. Approximately 130 Airmen and four C-130s will spend four months on this deployment.

Airmen from the 120th Airlift Wing board a C-17 from Travis Air Force Base June 28, 2019 that took them to Southwest Asia. Approximately 130 Airmen and four C-130s will spend four months on this deployment. (U.S. Air National Guard photo/Capt. Cassandra Ross)


Approximately 130 Airmen and four C-130s from the 120th Airlift Wing have begun a four-month deployment to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Spartan Shield.  

Assigned to the 385th Air Expeditionary Wing, the aircrew, aircraft maintainers, and additional personnel will provide airlift and airdrop support to operations throughout the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility.

“This is what we train for,” said Col. Buel Dickson, 120th Airlift Wing commander. “The Airmen of the Montana Air National Guard are known throughout the Air Force for their professionalism and can-do attitude.”

This scheduled rotation of aircraft and personnel is the second deployment of this type since the wing moved from fighters to transport aircraft in 2015. The first rotation of approximately 130 Airmen, the majority from the 120th Mission Support Group, will return to Montana in the next several weeks after completing a four-month deployment at various bases around Southwest Asia.

“This has been a busy six months for us, said Dickson. “We’ve had nearly a third of our Airmen deploy in that time. But thanks to the outstanding support of families, friends and the community of Great Falls, we’ve been able to meet all mission requirements.”

The 120th Airlift Wing, Montana Air National Guard, is a C-130 wing specializing in airdrop and airlift missions and is located in Great Falls, Montana. Approximately 1,000 Citizen Airmen are assigned, of which about 400 are full-time. The wing is assigned eight aircraft, which are flown by the wing's 186th Airlift Squadron.

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