Wyo. Air Guard will lose personnel and aircraft in proposed budget

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Jeff Tschacher, 153rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Wyoming Air National Guard, directs a C-130H Hercules equipped with the Modular Airborne Firefighting System(MAFFS) to start engine two in preparation to fight wildfires burning in Texas, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, April 19, 2011. MAFFS is capable of dispensing 3,000 gallons of water or fire retardant in under 5 seconds. The wildfires have spread across various parts of Texas and have burned more than 1,000 square miles of land. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt. Eric Harris)

Cheyenne, WY (KGWN) - The Wyoming Air National Guard's 153rd Airlift Wing will
lose approximately 210 airmen and four aircraft from their active duty
associate unit sometime after October of this year.

The 30th Airlift Squadron (AS), an attached active duty Air Force unit,
association with the Air Guard will be closed due to the President's 2015 budget proposal.

"I express my deepest disappointment and concern for the loss of the 30th Airlift Squadron," said Maj. Gen. Luke Reiner, the Adjutant General of the Wyoming National Guard. "Not only will we lose aircraft to this downsizing, but we will also lose the skilled airmen who either operate or support that mission."

Currently, the 30th AS works closely with the 153rd Airlift Wing, of the
Wyoming Air National Guard. In an active association, this allows the active duty unit to train and work alongside the guard unit. This relationship allows the Guard to man its full complement of aircraft and maintain a high level of readiness in the event of federal missions.

Both units operate C-130H Hercules aircraft; therefore the active duty unit has technical and operational compatibility with the Wyoming Air Guard unit.

Several other states have active associations like Wyoming. The 30th AS has been associated with the 153rd AW since 2006.

"The 30th Airlift Squadron is a vital component to our national defense and has made the Wyoming Air National guard stronger by its presence," Reiner said. "Our relationship with the 30th AS is very strong and we don't want to lose them. We will work to mitigate the effects of this decision."

Plans for reassigning the airmen in the 30th AS is still developing and no information is available at this time.