BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. (WBOY) – The West Virginia National Guard (WVNG) announced that the 11 RC-26 Condor aircraft that were still operating in the U.S. Air Force were officially retired this month.
West Virginia’s RC-26 Condor, aircraft 94-0260, primarily served West Virginia law enforcement in aiding with counter drugs missions. The plane spent 6,200 flight hours in support of all its various missions across the country. In West Virginia, it helped the Counter Drug program seize more than a billion dollars in drugs and weapons in the past five years, according to the WVNG.
The release also said that the RC-26 Condor model has been a “primary fixed wing asset” to multiple Air National Guard units since as early as the 1990s, including in West Virginia.
In addition to domestic counter-drug missions, missions for twin turboprop surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft include warzone counter-insurgency flights overseas, domestic homeland security missions, and disaster relief efforts both at home and abroad.
The U.S. Air Force operated 11 total RC-26 aircraft across the United States in Alabama,
Arizona, California, Iowa, Mississippi, New Mexico, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin and
Washington state. But drones and other technology have surpassed the Condor, so all 11 in operation were flown to Arizona where they were retired at the boneyard at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.
“The loss of this capable and integral platform marks a sad day for counter drug efforts here in
West Virginia,“ stated Col. William “Bill” Annie, program director. “The RC-26 was a critical
asset for us and for law enforcement agencies across the state. While we still have rotary wing
assets to maintain operational tempos and mission requirements for support efforts, we will truly
miss our Condor in the sky helping to keep us safe.”