October 21, 2020

Cortez Masto, Rosen, Feinstein, and Harris Urge Air Force to Upgrade Nevada Air National Guard Aircraft Fleet to Help Fight Wildfires

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) wrote a letter to Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett urging her to reconsider the Nevada Air National Guard Base in Reno as a candidate for eight C-130J aircraft, which would help improve the Guard’s firefighting abilities in Nevada, California, and other states in the region. The Senators first asked Secretary Barrett to consider the Nevada Air National Guard for the eight state-of-the-art aircraft in a February request.

“We are following up on our letter to you dated 3 February 2020, to request reconsideration of the decision to remove the 152nd Airlift Wing (AW) at the Nevada Air National Guard Base in Reno, Nevada, as a candidate for the United States Air Force's recapitalization of eight C-130J aircraft,” wrote the Senators. “We continue to believe that the transfer of this aircraft would provide a necessary upgrade to the 152nd AW's C-130H fleet and provide support to the Nevada Air National Guard’s vital firefighting mission, which was used most recently as part of the coordinated federal and state response to California’s wildfires.”

As devastating wildfires become more common occurrences in Nevada, California, and the western United States, we continue to believe in the importance of interoperability across thesestates to support future firefighting missions,” the Senators continued. “Ensuring that the National Guard is ready to assist the response to these emergencies in a swift and effective manner should be a priority for the Air Force as it considers where to send the new aircraft. The 152nd AW has dispatched specially equipped aircraft to serve these missions in the past and is ready to improve its capabilities with C-130J aircraft.”

The full text of the letter can be found here.