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Battle Creek Air National Guard base making transition

BATTLE CREEK, MI (WTVB) - They said goodbye Saturday to the second to last C-21 aircraft stationed at the Air National Guard Base in Battle Creek as they prepare to transition to a new mission.  The “fini-flight” is a traditional ceremony held at air bases as their planes depart.  Their final C-21 leaves next month. 

Their new mission will be to remotely pilot the MQ-9 Reaper.  The pilots will be here.  The planes will be in hot spots around the world, providing surveillance, search and rescue and even combat support.  

Colonel. Ron Wilson says eventually they hope to station a few of the drones in Battle Creek, primarily for training purposes, but they are not yet in the budget. When the last plane leaves, it will be the first time since 1946, that they haven’t had aircraft based in Battle Creek.