BAUCUS, TESTER ANNOUNCE ANOTHER STRONG MISSION FOR MANG
At Senators’ Urging, New Target Production Group Mission will Continue Good-Paying Jobs for Montana
(Washington, D.C.) – Montana’s U.S. Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester today announced a new mission for the Montana Air National Guard (MANG) that will support highly-skilled, good-paying jobs for Montana’s airmen for years to come.
MANG will be home to a new Target Production Group. Under this new mission, MANG will develop “targeting data” for the military by reviewing satellite imagery data and other geospatial intelligence. This data can be used by the military to conduct attacks in the event of armed conflict.
Today's news comes after Baucus and Tester repeatedly pressed the Air Force to select Montana for the new Target Production Group mission. Together with the C-27J flying mission, the Target Production group mission is expected to maintain roughly the same number of jobs supported under the current F-15 mission, which the Air Force plans to relocate to California.
“This exciting new mission is a great match for Montana’s Air National Guard that will support top-quality jobs for our top-quality airmen,” Baucus said. “While I still believe it’s a mistake to spend tax dollars moving the F-15’s to California, this new mission is a big victory for Great Falls and Montana that will protect jobs on Gore Hill and preserve MANG’s role in defending our national security. I want to thank David Weissman and the entire Central Montana Defense Alliance for their hard work advocating for new Montana military missions.”
“Montanans are no strangers to keeping the country safe and strong, and there’s no better outfit than MANG to carry out this prestigious new mission,” Tester said. “This is a mission I’m proud to have fought for—by hearing from folks on the ground and through countless conversations with our leaders—because it will allow Montana’s Airmen to contribute to the fight each and every day while creating good jobs here at home. I look forward to continuing my fight to strengthen that role.”
“The Central Montana Defense Alliance is pleased the Montana Air National Guard will gain the Target Production Group and a training facility, a relevant and emerging mission! This is a quality mission that we should be proud will call MANG home. The CMDA wants to thank Senator Baucus and Senator Tester for their dedicated work with the CMDA, MANG, and the Air Force,” said David J. Weissman, Chair, Central Montana Defense Alliance
Since the decision to relocate the F-15s was first floated in 2008, Baucus and Tester have regularly pressed the Department of Defense to keep MANG’s F-15 mission, along with the hundreds of jobs that go with it, or to come up with a comparable air mission in terms of force size, quality and jobs.
• 7/27/2011 Tester meets with U.S. Secretary of Defense Nominee Leon Panetta to discuss the F-15s and urges additional missions at MANG.
• 6/15/2011 Baucus meets with U.S. Secretary of Defense Nominee Leon Panetta and presses for a strong new mission at MANG
• 5/24/11 Baucus, Tester host the Central Montana Defense Alliance in Washington for a meeting with Air Force leadership.
• 3/16/2011 Baucus, Tester send letter to Air Force Secretary Michael Donley in support selecting MANG for the Target Production Group mission
• 2/3/2011 Tester meets with Erin Conaton, Undersecretary of the Air Force to discuss future missions for MANG
• 11/30/2010 Baucus, Tester host the Central Montana Defense Alliance in Washington for a meeting with Director of the Air National Guard General Harry Wyatt
• 11/30/2010 Baucus, Tester, Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer send letter to Air Force Secretary Michael Donley pressing for a new mission beyond the C-27J mission
• 10/8/2010 Tester meets with MANG leaders in Great Falls to discuss current and future missions.
• 4/27/2010 Baucus and Tester send letter to Air Force Secretary Michael Donley opposing to decision to move F-15 mission away from MANG, and calling for a strong replacement
• 4/15/2010 Baucus, Tester Meet with Air Force Secretary Donley to express opposition to plans to move F-15 mission away from MANG and call for a strong replacement
• 3/10/2010 Baucus, Tester Meet with Erin Conaton, then nominee for Undersecretary of the Air Force to express opposition to plans to move F-15 mission away from MANG
• 2/11/2010 Tester discusses the F-15 plan and the future of MANG with General Craig McKinley, Chief of the National Guard Bureau
• 3/26/2009 Baucus calls Air Force Secretary Donley to express opposition to plans to move F-15 mission away from MANG
• 10/16/2008 Baucus, Tester call to then-nominee for Air Force Secretary Michael Donley to express opposition to plans to move F-15 mission away from MANG. Donley commits to retaining F-15 mission at MANG for two years.