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Delaware Air National Guard receives $17.5M

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Delaware Air National Guard | PHOTO COURTESY OF DNG

WILMINGTON – U.S. Senators Tom Carper (D-DE) and Chris Coons (D-DE), and U.S. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE.) announced $17.5 million for the Delaware Air National Guard in support of a new fuel cell corrosion and control hangar for their C-130 aircraft.

The Senate Appropriations Committee recently passed the Fiscal Year 2022 government spending package, which includes funding for all government agencies and programs. The package includes $97 million for key Delaware projects, with the largest amount of funding set to go to the Delaware Air National Guard.

The fuel cell corrosion and control hangar will help sustain the tactical airlift mission of the 166th Airlift Wing. After more than a decade of delays in construction, funding for the new hangar forced the Delaware Air Guard’s maintainers to continue to use a facility that is both antiquated and inadequate to accomplish the wing’s mission and maintain the Guard’s eight C-130 planes.

The current sixty-year-old facility does not fully enclose a C-130 aircraft, and the tail must be left outside the hangar bay. It also has a limited shop area, is poorly insulated, and has single-pane windows and uninsulated walls and doors. The fire protection system is inadequate; the facility has other health and safety deficiencies. Ultimately, the facility does not meet force protection measures, and it cannot be expanded since it will interfere with the aircraft parking apron clearance.

“As a 23-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, I understand the need to make sure our men and women that serve have everything they need to perform their operations. So that is why I – along with Delaware’s congressional delegation – fought so hard to bring this funding home to Delaware,” said Senator Carper. “I can’t wait for the day that finally, the Delaware Air National Guard will have a hangar space suitable for its C-130H aircraft, helping the Delaware National Guard stay competitive and mission ready.”

Senator Coons states the “announcement is the culmination of a 20-year process, so while I regret that I could not attend [the] event, I look forward to joining Major General Berry and the Delaware Air National Guard once the new hangar is constructed.”

“The new fuel cell and corrosion hangar at the New Castle County Airport will bring the facility up to date so it can continue to provide essential support to the Delaware National Guard and its future missions. I am honored to have worked with my team and my counterparts in the Senate, Senator Carper and Senator Coons, to secure this funding for the Guard for a new hangar that in turn will make our state healthier, safer, stronger, and even more resilient,” said Congresswoman Blunt Rochester.

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