Durbin Talks Military Modernization With U.S. Air Force Secretary

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today spoke by phone with U.S. Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall III about the Air Force’s priorities for Fiscal Year 2023 and military modernization efforts. On the call, Durbin received an update about recent upgrades to satellite communications equipment on C-40 planes based in Illinois.  Durbin urged against efforts to divest from the 932nd Airlift Wing’s C-40 plans at Scott Air Force Base and encouraged Secretary Kendall to consider a new flying mission for the Wing in line with the Air Force’s modernization priorities.

Durbin went on to advocate for Springfield’s 183rd and Peoria’s 182nd Air Guard units, asking Secretary Kendall to halt potential divestments of C-130Hs without appropriate replacement aircraft. Durbin additionally reiterated that the 182nd Wing is a competitive and sound unit for new C-130Js.

“Scott Air Force Base, Springfield’s 183rd Wing, and Peoria’s 182nd Airlift Wing are important to our state, both economically and for our nation’s security,” said Durbin. “In speaking with Secretary Kendall today, I urged him to strongly consider assigning additional flying missions to Illinois’ military bases. Our service members have proven time and time again that they are ready and capable of taking on new, exciting missions.”