Washington, D.C. - Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) led a letter along with Congressman Jim Hagedorn (MN-01), Congresswoman Angie Craig (MN-02), Congressman Dean Phillips (MN-03), Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Congresswoman Michelle Fischbach (MN-07), and Congressman Pete Stauber (MN-08) to express the Minnesota Congressional Delegation's strong support for the C-130 mission at the Minnesota Air National Guard’s 133rd Airlift Wing.
The letter was sent to Secretary Kendall and General Brown of the United States Air Force to underscore the deep concerns with the proposed reductions of the C-130 fleet between fiscal years 2020 and 2025, and the direct impact they would have on the 133rd Airlift Wing. This decision was made prior to the release of the 2020 Mobility Capability and Requirements Study and without a fair and transparent basing process.
"Minnesota's C-130 operations support a broad array of services - many of which support critical homeland security missions. As a delegation, we urge the leadership of the United States Air Force to reconsider this decision and allow the Minnesota Air National Guard’s 133rd Airlift Wing to continue the C-130 mission that it has so successfully fulfilled for over a half-century," said Emmer.
Based in St. Paul, Minnesota, the 133rd Airlift Wing has been a model for recruitment, retention, and mission readiness since its inception in 1921. The Wing’s C-130 aircrafts have been critical to accomplishing United States Air Force and Air National Guard missions, including leading the way in aeromedical evacuations since 1961. This unit’s airlift capacity is also critical to Homeland Security responses to wildfires, hurricanes, floods, and other natural disasters. In addition to these achievements, the Wing serves as a key Contingency Response Flight, meeting national security objectives in the arctic established in the National Defense Strategy.
The 133rd Airlift Wing’s location at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, one of America’s largest hubs, allows it to support personnel strength and fill performance percentages that are among the best in the nation. From here, the Wing can rapidly deploy to provide critical care while transporting injured between medical treatment facilities, along with providing support for domestic, humanitarian, and deployed combat operations.
Read the letter here.