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WDAY: The News Leader

Published August 27, 2013, 09:20 PM

Last C-21 learjet leaves Fargo

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV)-- The Happy Hooligans are officially grounded. Today, the oldest remaining C-21 learjet became the last aircraft to leave the guard.

By: Rebecca Lebak, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV)-- The Happy Hooligans are officially grounded. Today, the oldest remaining C-21 learjet became the last aircraft to leave the guard.

After 66 years the last C-21 learjet has left the Fargo North Dakota Air National Guard base leaving North Dakota as the only state in the nation without a manned air flying mission

Now comes the waiting process, until a new mission is assigned.

Major General David A. Spryncznatyk- North Dakota National Guard: "I have absolute faith and trust that the transition ahead will go smoothly and this unit will emerge as the best intelligent group in the nation"

The Happy Hooligans have been an important part of our nation's security, involved in missions around globe, decades of awards, and they were among the first called to duty on 9/11.

For most, today's celebration is bitter sweet, the end of an era.

Mark Ugelstad known by many as the Happy Hooligans cheerleader is keeping a positive outlook no matter what.

Mark Ugelstad- Fargo, ND: "We don't know what is going to happen because we don't have a mission yet, but when we do get a mission we are going to do an outstanding job."

With a long line of family history for many of these national guard members tied to the happy hooligans, they say nothing is going to stop the tradition they've started.

General Alexander P. Macdonald- North Dakota National Guard: "We will not bow down to those who say we can't handle change, we can and we will, and we will do it better than other unit that wears this blue uniform."

The C-21 Lear-jet will be making its new home at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. It will be the first C-21 in the museum's collection.

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