Most long time residents of Cheyenne don't even bother to look up when they hear for massive airplane engines roaring overhead. We are used to the Wyoming Air National Guard turning over the city in a C-130 practicing touch and go at the local airport.

But the C-130 is just the latest in a long line of airplanes to fly laps around Cheyenne. The Wyoming Air National Guard has had some of the best of the baddest airplanes, ever, practicing overhead.

The Wyoming Air National Guard began in a small hangar on the southwest side of Cheyenne Municipal Airport in Wyoming. Their first airplanes were the P-51 "Mustang." The unit was activated April 1, 1951 and served in the Korean Conflict. 18 Wyoming pilots flew 1,500 combat missions. In 1956, the Wyoming Air National Guard became the 187th Fighter Interceptor Squadron.

Jets like the F-80C "Shooting Star" were flown from 1953 - 1957 and the T-33 "T-Bird" flown from 1953 - 1960. They have a maximum speed of 600 mph. Both planes were used by the U.S. and Canada as well as 30 other nations. A few nations still use it today, though mainly as trainers.

In 1958, they received their F-86L Sabre jet aircraft and the air group was redesignated as the 153rd Fighter Interceptor Group. The Sabre is best known as the United States' first swept wing fighter that could counter the similarly-winged Soviet MiG-15. It tangled with the MiG-15 in dogfights over the skies of the Korean [1950–1953].

Big changes came to the Wyoming unit in 1961 when they have redesignated yet again, this time from a fighter unit to flying C-119 Flying Boxcar aircraft and airlifting medical patients with the newly designated 187th Aeromedical Transport Squadron.

On June 21, 1963, it received C-121 Super Constellation aircraft and expanded its military airlift role to worldwide mission capabilities. They flew over South East Asia and Vietnam, in late 1964.

Today, it is the mighty C-130H "Hercules" and mission of the Wyoming Air National Guard continues. The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport. This is one tough airplane. It can use unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medevac, and cargo transport. But the airframe has a variety of uses including  (AC-130), as a gunship for airborne assault. The C-130 is also used for search and rescue, scientific research support, weather reconnaissance, aerial refueling, maritime patrol, and aerial firefighting. It is now the main tactical airlifter for many military forces worldwide.

So next time you hear the roar of those four big engines, look up. The Cheyenne Air National Guard has some of the baddest of the super-bad airplanes, anywhere, ever.

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