CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — West Virginia National Guard 130th Airlift Wing, McLaughlin Air National Guard Base in Charleston has been selected to be the current Air National Guard’s C-130J Recapitalization and Basing program.
Barbara Barrett, Secretary of the Air Force, made the announcement and says McLaughlin Air National Guard Base was selected due to its ability to support the mission, economic factors, and environmental considerations. The new C-130J aircraft would provide the West Virginia Air National Guard (WVANG) with greater capability in supporting our state and our nation around the world.
The West Virginia delegation sent a letter in July urging the U.S. Air Force to choose the West Virginia National Guard base in Charleston.
The 130th Airlift Wing currently operates eight C-130H3 Hercules model aircraft, that are more than 25 years old. The 130th Airlift Wing has had a C-130 mission since 1975 and has converted to numerous variations of the C-130 over the years.
“Today’s announcement is fantastic news for the West Virginia National Guard and our entire state. The West Virginia National Guard is exceptional and has worked tirelessly to ensure the 130th Airlift Wing in Charleston is the best home for the Air National Guard C-130J Recapitalization and Basing program. I am pleased to see their hard work pay off. This growing partnership will reap benefits for our entire state as the men and women of our National Guard are able to fulfill an expanded role with more capable and modern aircraft, and I know that our National Guard will continue to represent West Virginia well.”U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV)
“The West Virginia National Guard is an exceptional force in West Virginia and continues to be recognized nationally for their excellence. The announcement today that the 130th Airlift Wing has been selected to become home to C-130J aircraft under the Air National Guard’s C-130J Recapitalization and Basing program is great news for not only our National Guard and Charleston, but also for the entire state of West Virginia. Our National Guard works around the clock tirelessly in service to our residents. It is truly great to see due recognition come their way. Replacing the current C-130H planes with the modernized C-130Js will help grow opportunities within our state, and continue to foster positive relationships that enhance training partnerships between the West Virginia National Guard and military units from throughout the country. I am grateful to play a role in this exciting announcement and look forward to the benefits it will bring West Virginia.”U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)
“I am proud to announce, after a competitive nationwide selection process, West Virginia’s 130th Airlift Wing, located at the McLaughlin Air National Guard Base in Charleston, West Virginia, has been designated by the Air Force to receive eight new C-130J cargo planes. This means that our brave U.S. servicemen and women will be trained on these airplanes right here in West Virginia. I was glad to make the case for the Mountain State alongside my colleagues in the West Virginia delegation.”U.S Congressman Alex Mooney (WV-02)
“I want to congratulate our 130th Airlift Wing on an achievement for which they must feel incredibly honored. I could not be happier for our entire West Virginia National Guard for being recognized on a national level with this important selection by the U.S. Air Force. I truly believe that our National Guardsmen and women in West Virginia are second to none in the country. When people are in trouble, they always run to the fire. When it comes to Charleston being selected as a base to upgrade these aircraft, I know that the men and women with the 130th Airlift Wing will do whatever it takes to make our nation proud.”West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R)
“This is a monumental step forward for the West Virginia Air National Guard. The 130th Airlift Wing has a demonstrated history of excellence in the C-130 airframe and this announcement is an important point in the process, which we hope will ultimately lead to a decision for recapitalization to the C-130J-30s in Charleston so that our Airmen are at the forefront of the future fight.Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, West Virginia Adjutant General.