Durbin Meets With Director Of Air National Guard To Discuss The Future Of Springfield's 183rd Fighter Wing

[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) met today with Lieutenant General Stanley Clarke who, as Director of the Air National Guard, oversees National Guard units across the country, including the Illinois Air National Guard’s 183rd Fighter Wing in Springfield. During the meeting, Lieutenant General Clarke and Durbin – who serves as Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees discretionary spending for our nation’s military – discussed the long-term future of the 183rd. Durbin has led bipartisan efforts among Illinois’ Congressional Delegation in pressing the Air Force and the Air National Guard to identify a new flying mission for the 183rd Fighter Wing.

A photo of today’s meeting with Lieutenant General Clarke is available here.

“Almost a year ago, I stood with members of the 183rd Air Guard to celebrate new facilities at the Capital Airport Air National Guard Station that have allowed the unit to expand their capabilities to support air operations right now, as well as potential future missions in cybersecurity and intelligence-support,” Durbin said. “Today, Lieutenant General Clarke and I discussed the ways that the Air National Guard can take advantage of these new capabilities and build on the 183rd’s track record of success.”

In February, Durbin met with Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James to discuss Illinois defense priorities, including Springfield’s 183rd Fighter Wing.

Since 2007, Durbin has successfully secured four extensions of the firefighting unit at Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport, which was originally scheduled to expire in September of 2008. Durbin first began working in 2006 with then-Senator Barack Obama to keep jobs at the 183rd Fighter Wing and secure a new flying mission that would keep the firefighting unit in Springfield.