WASHINGTON–Today, the Air National Guard and the U.S. Air Force selected Connecticut’s 103rd Airlift Wing based at Bradley Air National Guard Base as one of four units to receive a squadron of eight C-130J aircraft. The new aircraft will replace the unit’s current inventory of C-130H aircraft.
The decision comes after years of advocacy by the Connecticut Congressional Delegation, Connecticut’s Adjutant General Major, General Evon, and Governor Ned Lamont, as well as over $100 million of Congressional investments over the past decade to improve the infrastructure at Bradley Air National Guard Base. The 32 new aircraft that will be stationed at the four bases were added by Congress in the Fiscal Year 2022 and 2023 budgets.
“This is huge news for the CT Air National Guard and the future of the Flying Yankees. Connecticut has spent years investing in Bradley Air National Guard Base to ensure its position as the best candidate for C-130J basing, and today’s decision is proof that the hard work of our delegation, General Evon, and Governor Lamont paid off. As a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, I was proud to fight for the funding for these new planes and look forward to their arrival,” said Murphy.
“As we mark the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Connecticut’s ‘Flying Yankees,’ the Air Force’s basing decision announced today ensures an enduring future for Connecticut’s air guard. C-130J’s are the state-of-the-art global platforms for airlift, working hard all over the U.S. and in the Indo Pacific and European theaters” Courtney said. “As Ranking Member of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee with oversight over Air Force and Air National Guard airlift programs, including the C-130J basing process, I, along with my Connecticut colleagues, personally raised the issue with Air Force leadership including Secretary Kendall and advocated on behalf of our National Guard personnel in Connecticut for the Air National Guard to select Bradley as a basing location for these new aircraft. Today’s decision is a result of that advocacy and steady, persistent work to upgrade the base infrastructure that General Evon, his predecessor, Thad Martin, and their talented team have executed over the last decade. This is a proud day for our state.”
The recapitalization of our tactical airlift fleet ensures that Connecticut’s Flying Yankees have an essential flying mission well into the future, provides job security for our airmen, and secures the unit’s viability for future generations,” said Maj. Gen. Francis J. Evon, adjutant general of the Connecticut National Guard. “We applaud the tireless efforts of Connecticut’s congressional delegation in advocating on behalf of the Connecticut Air National Guard. The 103rd Airlift Wing proactively modernized Bradley Air National Guard Base over the last 10 years to be ready to accept these aircraft as soon as they are available. This decision is a testament to the hard work and unparalleled performance of the Flying Yankees, who just celebrated their centennial, and sets them up for success in their next 100 years.”
“This announcement is big news for Connecticut and for Connecticut’s Flying Yankees. This decision reflects the confidence that the Air National Guard and the U.S. Air Force have in the Flying Yankees and the airmen and airwomen of the 103rd Airlift Wing. It is fitting that Connecticut, a leading aerospace state, will now have the most modern platform for this critical flying Guard Base mission. On behalf of the State of Connecticut, I express my gratitude to the Biden administration, Defense Secretary Austin, Air Force Secretary Kendall, and Air National Guard Director Lt. General Loh for selecting the Connecticut National Guard to receive these aircraft. I also commend Major General Evon on his leadership and ongoing efforts to enhance the abilities of the Connecticut National Guard,” said Lamont.
“This fantastic news for Connecticut is a testament to the world class Bradley Air National Guard Base. This top notch facility, which is a national model for other Air National Guard Bases, will be a perfect home for the C-130J. With this recognition, Connecticut continues its proud history of supporting our military as it executes crucial missions and ensures our national security,” said Blumenthal.
“After more than a decade of preparation, including millions in federal funding we secured in Congress to expand operations and improve the hangar at the Bradley Air National Guard Base, the nationally recognized 103rd Airlift Wing is well-positioned to base new C-130J aircraft,” said Larson. “Today’s announcement will ensure the Connecticut Air National Guard has the equipment they need to continue their critical mission, which has included hurricane relief efforts, support during presidential visits, and joint NATO exercises. I applaud Rep. Courtney for his tireless advocacy on this issue, leading the entire Congressional delegation in our efforts to urge the Air Force to support Connecticut service members by making this decision.”
“I applaud the Air Force’s decision in selecting Bradley Air National Guard Base as the home for the C-130J,” said DeLauro. “Connecticut’s workforce is well equipped to deliver on maintaining and staging this aircraft which, in turn provides economic impacts that cascade throughout the entire state economy. As the Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee, I know how important the Air Force’s efforts are and they have my absolute support. I will always fight to ensure our military aircraft are well-equipped and best positioned to respond to threats to our national security while safeguarding the well-being of the men and women who serve in the US Air Force.”
“The Airmen of the 103rd Airlift Wing deserve the most advanced aircraft offered, and I am pleased that the Bradley Air National Guard Base in Connecticut has been selected as a preferred location for C-130Js. This upgrade will allow the CT Air National Guard to continue humanitarian missions, disaster relief, deployments, and joint exercises with our NATO allies,” said Himes.
“The Connecticut Air National Guard continues to be a leader in support missions for Connecticut, New England, and the country. I thank the Air Force for selecting Bradley Air National Guard Base as a preferred location to base new C-130J aircraft. This selection recognizes the hard work of men and women of the 103rd Airlift Wing, also known as the ‘Flying Yankees,’” said Hayes.