Tester statement on revised Air National Guard budget

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after the U.S. Defense Department agreed to revise its budget request for the Air National Guard, allowing the Guard to maintain an additional 24 C-130 aircraft nationwide.  Tester recently secured a new mission for the Montana Air National Guard that will bring eight C-130s and jobs to Great Falls:

“The C-130s are headed to Montana due to the hard work and first-class reputation of the Airmen at MANG.  The Defense Department’s commitment to the Air Guard provides further assurance that the C-130s will arrive in Great Falls as scheduled, preserving jobs in Montana and strengthening America’s overall defense strategy.”

Tester joined with Senator Max Baucus in February to announce the C-130 mission for MANG.  Tester and Baucus worked with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Director of the Air National Guard Lt. General Harry Wyatt, and Great Falls community leaders to deliver the flying mission to Great Falls.

Air Force and Air National Guard officials recently reaffirmed the C-130 mission for Montana in response to Tester’s questioning.

The Defense Department’s initial budget request reduced the number of flying missions for the Air National Guard and the number of Air Guardsmen nationally by 5,100.  The department’s new proposal also restores at least 2,200 Guard positions.