SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - In a new letter to the United States Air Force, Senator Raphael Warnock urged senior Air Force department leaders not to divert new, strategic C-130J planes that were promised to Savannah Air Guard Base.
Savannah Air Guard Base is home to the 165th Air Wing, which is currently flying older C-130H planes for tactical airlift, airdrop missions.
Senator Warnock pressed this issue again during a call on Tuesday with Acting Air Force Secretary John Roth.
“The reports that the Georgia Air National Guard may not receive the modern aircraft as previously announced is concerning, particularly given that this decision would be made without any congressional oversight or transparency,” said Senator Warnock. “I request that the Department of the Air Force…ensure that the Georgia Air National Guard is able to continue to conduct their important mission with the C-130J.”
In the letter Sen. Warnock addressed Roth and Air Force Chief of Staff Charles Q. Brown Jr. He underscored the importance of the Savannah Air Guard Base and its’ 165th Air Wing to the nation’s national security priorities, including performing domestic and international tactical airlift and airdrop missions.
He urged them to honor the commitment of the previous administration. Savannah had previously been named as the next in line to receive the modern aircraft as the plans were procured.
The Georgia Air National Guard plays a critical role in the nation’s defense. Since 1974, the Georgia Air Guard has provided tactical airlift in domestic and deployed environments. This includes executing successful combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, providing support to overseas contingencies in Europe, conducting humanitarian missions to Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, and supporting crucial homeland security operations, including the 2021 presidential inauguration.
You can read Sen. Warnock’s letter in full below: