Durbin Announces One-Year Extension for Firefighters at 183rd

[WASHINGTON, DC] – The F-16 maintenance mission and the National Guard firefighter unit at Springfield’s Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport have been granted a one-year extension through September 2011, Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today.  The Adjutant General of the State of Illinois, Major General William Enyart informed Durbin of the temporary extension of the 183rd Fighter Wing’s F-16 maintenance mission.
“I want to thank General Enyart for his support for continuing the maintenance mission at Abraham Lincoln Capitol Airport,” said Durbin.  “This welcome news means the highly skilled National Guard firefighters and critical firefighting equipment will remain in Springfield for another year.  I will continue to work with the Air Force, the National Guard and the State of Illinois to see that good paying jobs remain in our state and these important emergency response capabilities are not lost.”
In 2009, Durbin worked to secure a year extension for the firefighting unit which was scheduled to expire in September of this year.  Durbin has repeatedly urged the Air Force and the National Guard to find a new flying mission for the 183rd that would secure the long-term future of the firefighting unit at the 183rd.   In March 2010, Durbin hosted a meeting with the Springfield Mayor Tim Davlin, other members of the Springfield community, and representatives from the Springfield Firefighting unit to discuss the importance of maintaining the firefighting unit.