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Governor Nixon visits 139th Airlift Wing

Governor Nixon visits 139th Airlift Wing in February, 2010. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Shannon Bond/Released)

Governor Nixon visits 139th Airlift Wing in February, 2010. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Shannon Bond/Released)

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- Governor Jay Nixon took a trip to Northwest Missouri to visit the Guardsmen and women at the 139th Airlift Wing on Friday.

Nixon's first stop at the Wing was the hangar, where he toured a new C-130 aircraft recently flown in from Ohio. The new addition is being prepared by the Guardsmen in the maintenance department. After that, Nixon toured the engine shop and the Wing's elite school, the Advanced Airlift and Tactical Center.

"I've tried to spend as much of my first year getting to know the command staff and spending more time with the Soldiers," Nixon told the Soldiers during the tour. "I want to say thank you and that I appreciate the work that you do."

Nixon, alongside Brig. Gen. Stephen Danner and Brig. Gen. Stephen Cotter, also listened in on a briefing given by Col. Mike Pankau. In the briefing, Pankau discussed the 139th capabilities, their achievements and their economic contributions.

Nixon took note of the Wing's readiness to go to combat and their current participation in numerous conflicts abroad.

"Some of you have four or five fingers worth (of deployments) on your hands and it looks like there is a great possibility for more," Nixon told the Soldiers during the briefing. "I want everyone to know that the chain of command on the civilian side supports you in everything that you do."

This is Nixon's second visit to the Wing since he took office just over one year ago. It is something that is going noticed among the Guardsmen.

"I had been trying to get the governor here in this building in years before and it never happened," Cotter told Nixon. "You have already been here twice and I want you to know that we appreciate you and appreciate your sincere interest in us."