Durbin Announces One-Year Extension for Firefighters at 183rd

Extension of maintenance mission will keep firefighters at Springfield Airport until September 2010

[WASHINGTON, DC] – The F-16 maintenance mission and the National Guard firefighter unit at Springfield’s Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport has been granted a one-year extension through September 2010, Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today. The Director of the Air National Guard, General Harry Wyatt informed Durbin of the temporary extension of the 183rd Fighter Wing’s F-16 maintenance mission which will keep open the option to find a permanent flying mission at Springfield.


“This continuing maintenance work will allow Capitol Airport to maintain the National Guard firefighters and firefighting equipment for another year,” said Durbin. “This is welcome news as these highly skilled firefighters are critical to Springfield’s ability to handle an emergency. 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.”


Last year, Durbin worked with then Senator Barack Obama to secure a year extension for the firefighting unit which was scheduled to expire in September of this year. Since then, Durbin has 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 2009, Durbin hosted a meeting with the Springfield Mayor Tim Davlin, former Illinois Air National Guard Commander Brigadier General Jay Sheedy and representatives from the Springfield Firefighting unit to discuss the importance of maintaining the firefighting unit.