Mostly Happy in North Dakota

Mostly Happy in North Dakota The Air Force has formally assigned a new flying mission to the North Dakota Air National Guard’s Happy Hooligans, cementing an agreement the service made with the state’s Congressional delegation that will put C-27 Spartan joint cargo aircraft with the Hooligans in addition to their new unmanned aerial vehicle mission. In a joint release July 29, Sen. Byron Dorgan (D) called the news a “strong statement” that USAF intends to have the unit “keep playing a central role in military operations around the world.” Between now and the time the Hooligans can expect to begin receiving the new C-27 aircraft, the unit is flying C-21 business-type airlift aircraft. Sen. Kent Conrad (D) noted that the unit’s airmen “have long been recognized as some of the finest pilots anywhere in the world,” and added, “I applaud the Air Force’s commitment to keeping the Hooligans in the air, flying vital missions.” The unit, now known as the 119th Wing, had flown various fighter aircraft for more than 50 years until stripped of its F-16s by BRAC 2005. Both Dorgan and Conrad met separately on July 29 with Acting Air Force Secretary Michael Donley to discuss the USAF vision for North Dakota bases, including plans to activate an additional B-52 squadron at Minot Air Force Base and assign the new tanker to Grand Forks Air Force Base, in addition to its new UAV mission.