NIAGARA FALLS – Ground was broken Tuesday at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station for a new, $5.2 million training center that will house a C-130 simulator.

The 11,250-square-foot building will contain a state-of-the-art simulator to create a full-motion and visibility experience of flying the massive transport planes at a lower cost. The station expects more than 450 students will use the trainer each year, and that it will provide about 18 full-time jobs.

This week Forbes magazine called the C-130 “the most successful military aircraft ever,” pointing out that the heavy-duty workhorse took its first flight 60 years ago this month and that 2,000 C-130s are currently in use. The latest version of the plane, built by Lockheed-Martin, is the C-130J “Super Hercules.”

The Niagara Falls station is home base for the 914th Airlift Wing.