April 21, 2011

Gillibrand Urges Air Force Sec. Donley to Station Additional C-17s at Stewart Air National Guard Base

With Retirement of C-5As, Stewart Has Capacity and Support for Additional C-17s

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today urged the Secretary of the Air Force, Michael Donley to base an additional eight C-17s at Stewart Air National Guard Base (ANGB), bringing the total to sixteen.  Under the current plan, eight C-17s from Charleston AFB, SC, and McChord AFB, WA will be based at Stewart.  However, both bases have in excess of 50 aircraft, and with the Air Force scheduled to take delivery of 13 new C-17s, Stewart ANGB is the perfect candidate to station additional aircraft.

“Stewart Air National Guard Base is the ideal place to base an additional eight C-17s,” Senator Gillibrand said.  “The additional aircraft will mean utilizing both the base and the brave men and women of the 105th AW to their full potential.  Stewart ANGB has both the capability and community support to accommodate these aircrafts.”

Stewart ANGB employs more than 660 full- and part-time military members as well as 1,700 Guardsmen.  With the pending retirement of the C-5A aircraft, Stewart will have the additional infrastructure and personnel necessary to accommodate more than just the initial eight C-17s.  Basing the added aircraft at Stewart ANGB will have the additional benefit of increasing the geographic distribution of this national asset, and increase ramp space at both Charleston AFB and McChord AFB. 

Senator Gillibrand’s full letter to Air Force Secretary Michael Donley is below:

Dear Mr. Donley,

I’m writing to ask you to consider basing an additional eight C-17 aircraft at Stewart Air National Guard Base (ANGB).  

At a recent Senate Armed Services Committee hearing with U.S. Transportation Command, General McNabb indicated the two bases chosen for retiring the C-5As were Stewart ANGB and Wright Patterson AFB.   I was aware the Air Force was considering retiring the 105th Airlift Wing’s (AW) 13 C-5As last fall when it was introduced concurrently with the selection of Stewart ANGB as the preferred base for eight C-17 aircraft.   In his testimony General McNabb also indicated that 209 of 222 C-17s have been delivered to the Air Force.

I understand the eight C-17s destined for Stewart are coming from Charleston AFB, SC, and McChord AFB, WA, both of which already have in excess of 50 aircraft.   With another 13 C-17s still to be delivered, I believe basing an additional eight C-17 (for a total of 16) with the 105th AW will not only maximize the capability of Stewart ANGB and its highly trained and dedicated personnel, it will increase the geographic distribution of this important national asset, and increase available ramp space at Charleston and McChord, relieving any potential overcrowding.

Stewart ANGB is rich in history and tradition, has an outstanding track record in its mission of heavy lift, and employs more than 660 fulltime and part-time military members and some 1,700 traditional Guardsman.  The base has served the United States and New York State for decades and has been involved in a myriad of operations ranging from Vietnam and Desert Storm to the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001 and Hurricane Katrina.   With the pending retirement of the C-5As, Stewart ANGB has the infrastructure, personnel, and community desire to accommodate more than eight
C-17s. 

Thank you for considering my request; and thank you for your outstanding service and leadership of the world’s greatest Air Force.  I look forward hearing from you. 


Sincerely,


Kirsten E. Gillibrand
United States Senator