WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Darin LaHood (IL-18), along with other members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation, today sent a letter to the National Guard urging for a flying mission for the 183rd Wing of the Illinois Air National Guard in Springfield.  In their letter, the members stated that transitioning the 183rd back to flying status could be a key component towards reaching the Air Force’s goals of increasing its total force from 312 to 386 squadrons.

Additionally, LaHood is leading the effort in the House, along with U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis, Mike Bost, and Cheri Bustos, to include an amendment in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would bring a flying mission to the 183rd  Wing in Springfield.

“This Wing can easily transition back to a flying mission utilizing the current manpower and facilities to provide the Air Force additional combat capability.  Facilities at Springfield Air Base are well suited for re-conversion to a flying mission given that F-16 aircraft previously flew from the base,” the members wrote in their letter to National Guard Bureau Chief General Joseph L. Lengyel and Air National Guard Director Lieutenant General L. Scott Rice.  “While we understand that the National Guard must carefully weigh each decision on future basing and missions, we feel strongly that the 183d Wing is a top candidate to return to a flying mission and our offices stand ready to support any efforts made to advance this initiative.”

The letter was also signed by U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and U.S. Representatives Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17), Rodney Davis (R-IL-13), and Mike Bost (R-IL-12).

Full text of the letter is available here.