- Associated Press - Thursday, February 12, 2015

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas Air National Guard has confirmed that its Air Guard units would receive additional aircraft and a new facility under the U.S. Air Force’s fiscal requests that are part of President Barack Obama’s proposed federal budget.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/19c2hkA) reports that the Air Force would send two C-130 H-model aircraft to the Air Guard’s 189th Airlift Wing at the Little Rock Air Force Base in Jacksonville, if the budget is approved. Obama’s proposal also recommends $15.2 million in funding for the construction of a 40,000-square-foot complex at Ebbing Air National Guard Base in Fort Smith.

Master Sgt. Christopher Durney, a spokesman for the Air Guard unit, said the aircraft would help the unit’s mission, which includes training crews for the C-130s and training instructors. He says the unit currently has about a dozen C-130 aircraft.

“Our training is pretty intense,” said Durney. “Any help we can get is great.”

The Fort Smith complex would be used by guardsmen to remotely pilot MQ-9 Reapers drones. The new mission is expected to be fully operational by 2017.

The president’s proposed budget, which includes a defense budget of $534 billion, is being considered by Congress.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com


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