Tester Announces Montana Air National Guard Among Eight Finalists for C-130J Aircraft Replacements

Senator has been relentless advocate for new squadron

U.S. Senator Jon Tester announced today that the Montana Air National Guard (MANG) is one of eight finalists to be considered to receive new C-130J aircraft to replace the aging C-130H fleet. Tester visited MANG on Friday.

“This is great news for the men and women of the Montana Air National Guard-who rely each and every day on C-130 aircraft to fulfill their flying mission safely and effectively,” said Tester. “That’s why I continue pushing the Air Force to deliver this new fleet to Montana, and why the President’s move to redirect C-130J funding towards an ineffective border wall puts that funding at risk. Montana isn’t out of the woods yet, but we’re one step closer to certainty for our flying missions in the months and years ahead.”

Last week, Tester met with the men and women of MANG’s 120th Airlift Wing in Great Falls to discuss the urgent need to secure new C-130J aircraft and replenish funding for the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account (NGREA), following President Trump’s move to raid the defense budget for the construction of a border wall. He also met with Air Force and National Guard leadership two weeks ago to urge the critical need for C-130Js in Montana.

Last month, Tester blasted the Trump Administration’s plan to gut critical funding from the U.S. Department of Defense military readiness- including funding for C-130Js. He also called on the Department to rescind the President’s decision which would jeopardize the safety, readiness, and effectiveness of the U.S. military.

Tester is a relentless advocate for Montana’s defense priorities. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Tester worked for years to secure funding for Montana’s defense installations and advocated for new aircraft and military construction projects- including fighting on behalf of critical modernization efforts of the aging fleet of C-130Hs. He successfully included legislation in the fiscal year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, providing the Air Force with the authorization and funding it needed to modernize its C-130H fleet.