WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representatives Darin LaHood (IL-18) and Cheri Bustos (IL-17) and Illinois Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth sent a letter to the United States Air Force Secretary in support of the 182nd Airlift Wing at the Peoria International Airport in Peoria, Illinois for the current Air National Guard C-130J Recapitalization. Over the last two budget cycles, Congress has appropriated and authorized the creation of 16 new C-130Js.
“We support our men and women serving at the 182nd and the Illinois National Guard and with a strong military presence in the state of Illinois, we believe the recapitalization of C-130J aircraft will further strengthen the value of the 182nd Airlift Wing to our national security and Illinois’s long-lasting partnership with the United States Air Force,” the members wrote.
Full text is available here and below:
December 12, 2019
Barbara M. Barrett
Secretary of the Air Force
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20301
Dear Secretary Barrett,
Congratulations on your confirmation as the 25th Secretary of the Air Force. We write in support of the 182nd Airlift Wing at the Peoria International Airport in Peoria, Illinois for the current Air National Guard C-130J Recapitalization. We urge you to give full and fair consideration to the 182nd Airlift Wing.
We are aware that the strategic basing process and criteria consideration are ongoing, and believe that the 182nd in Peoria is well qualified and a strong candidate base under the proposed enterprise as an existing Air National Guard C-130H tactical airlift unit without FTU or LC-130 special missions. The 182nd has a strong history of outstanding performance, including the highest C-130H mission capability rate in the Air National Guard for FY 2009-2017. Not only does the 182nd have outstanding airmen and full capacity to house the C-130J aircraft, the 182nd is also cost effective. The 182nd has flown the C-130H aircraft since 2005 and while deployed in 2017 as part of Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq, the 182nd achieved the most fully mission capable C-130 hours since June 2013 and flew the most hours since October 2012 for the deployed location.
As Members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation, we support this recapitalization and the local Peoria community continues to maintain full support for the presence of the 182nd and its airlift mission. The 182nd is a competitive applicant, fulfilling mission, environmental, capacity and cost considerations.
- Mission – The 182nd meets the distributed aircraft capability requirements of less than 300 nautical miles from ANG STS and greater than 300 nautical miles from an ANG C-130J airlift MOB. In addition, the 182nd meets the runway requirements with a runway of 10,104’ feet of takeoff distance. In addition, the 182nd is in the 95th percentile for overall manning end strength of all proposed enterprise definition-eligible bases and has a strong retention rate.
- Environmental – The 182nd does not have any air quality issues and the General Wayne A. Downing International Airport does not have any encroachment issues.
- Capacity – The 182nd is home to a recent Squadron Operations Facility that is only five years old, has ramp parking for seven A/C, exceeding the six A/C criterion, strong Aircraft Maintenance Facilities that can house two C-130J aircraft, a Fuel Cell Hanger that can house one C-130J, as well as sufficient Back-shop functions and area. In addition, the 182nd maintains the Aerial Port Flights building with sufficient room as well as an LRS supply warehouse and an LRS POL.
- Cost – During previous evaluations, the 182nd is assessed to be in a low Area Cost Factor with the 4th lowest BAH rate at $1191 and similar GS Locality rates.
We support our men and women serving at the 182nd and the Illinois National Guard and with a strong military presence in the state of Illinois, we believe the recapitalization of C-130J aircraft will further strengthen the value of the 182nd Airlift Wing to our national security and Illinois’s long lasting partnership with the United States Air Force. We ask that within all relevant rules and regulations, you give full and fair consideration to the 182nd Air Lift Wing during the ongoing basing criteria decision for C-130J Recapitalization. If you have any questions, please contact our Washington, D.C. offices.