Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Brad Finstad (MN-01), along with U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN), Representatives Angie Craig (MN-02), Dean Phillips (MN-03), Betty McCollum (MN-04), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Tom Emmer (MN-06), Michelle Fischbach (MN-07), and Pete Stauber (MN-08) sent a bipartisan, bicameral letter to Director of the Air National Guard Lieutenant General Michael Loh urging the Air National Guard and the U.S. Air Force to select Minnesota National Guard’s 133rd Airlift Wing to receive new C-130J transport planes.  

If the 133rd Airlift Wing is selected, new C-130J planes would replace decades-old C-130H Hercules transport planes. Modernizing the C-130H fleet will ensure that the 133rd Airlift Wing is able to continue carrying out critical missions, boosting our nation's security and ability to respond to challenges at home and abroad. 

“As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I understand how critical it is that the 133rd Airlift Wing and the Minnesota National Guard are adequately equipped with the best resources available,” said Rep. Finstad. “The addition of new C-130J planes will significantly improve the medical, communication, security, aviation, engineering, and transportation capabilities of the 133rd Airlift Wing, ensuring that Minnesota remains a strong base for our national defense.” 

In part, the letter reads: 

“As the first federally recognized Air unit in the National Guard, the 133rd Airlift Wing is a historic unit with a history of accomplishment and partnership to be proud of. The 133rd is an integral part of our state, the overall National Guard and our country's security and as you look to finalize desired basing locations for the C-130J, we, the Minnesota Congressional Delegation, ask that you consider military judgment and include factors beyond the basing criteria. The 133rd Airlift Wing has repeatedly met and exceeded expectations, distinguishing itself across various missions. The 133rd is mission proven and marked by operational accomplishment.” 

“The performance, readiness, capabilities, strength, and partnerships of the 133rd Airlift Wing are hard to match and provide a strong case to be one of the next states to recapitalize to C-130Js. We are proud of the 133rd and the Minnesota Guard and it is our privilege to work with and support them every day. We are grateful for your openness to consider input on this fielding decision.” 

Full text of the letter is available here

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2746 Superior Drive NW

Suite 100

Rochester, MN 55901

Phone: (507) 577-6140

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Washington, DC 20515

Phone: (202) 225-2472

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