PEORIA (WEEK) — After proposed cuts put them in danger, thousands of air national guardsmen and women stationed in Peoria are here to stay.
U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth — along with U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos and Gov. JB Pritzker, met in Peoria today unveiling a provision in the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act establishing a minimum total aircraft inventory of 292 C-130’s.
Last year, the Air Force proposed reducing the number of C-130 aircraft around the country — prompting both Reps. Darin LaHood and Bustos to join forces, saying the reduction could put mission readiness at risk for the 182nd Airlift Wing.
But leaders said today’s agreement prevents that from happening.
“Establishing this minimum of 292 aircraft would ensure that the 182nd’s mission remains for years to come, and it also means that our National Guard units across the country, especially the one right here in Peoria, have the ability to respond to new emergencies and domestic missions,” U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth said.
The 182nd Airlift Wing has been stationed in Peoria since 1947 and has roughly 1,200 men and women.
The 182nd Airlift Wing’s current C-130H mission performs the tactical portion of various airlift missions and has a strong history of outstanding performance, according to Duckworth’s website, including the highest C-130H mission capability rate in the Air National Guard from 2009-2017.
The 182nd has also achieved the most fully mission-capable C-130 hours since June 2013 while flying the most hours since October 2012 for the deployed location.
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