139th receives two additional C-130s
By Capt. Brian Bowman, 139 Public Affairs
/ Published April 27, 2009
April 2, 2009 -- Most military units and installations lose capability - and viability - after a Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) committee's recommendations are implemented.
The 139th Airlift Wing and other tenants of Rosecrans Air National Guard Base are not like most units and installations.
The permanent arrival of two additional C-130 aircraft to the wing April 2 from the Idaho Air National Guard - as directed by the 2005 Dept. of Defense BRAC - underscores the wing's excellence through the years, according to base and Congressional leadership.
More than 300 members of the 139th turned out for the formal reception ceremony of the aircraft April 4, hosted by 139th AW commander Col. Stephen Cotter and with guest speaker Rep. Sam Graves, the congressman for the Sixth District in Missouri, where Rosecrans is located.
"To most of DoD, BRAC is a four-letter word," Cotter said. "It's negative for about 90 percent of the (military) force."
Like the Idaho Guard, which lost its C-130 mission and the squadron that went with it.
"They're in mourning out there," Cotter said. "They did (increase) in other areas ... but their loss is our gain."
"The BRAC committee recognized our consistent excellence, excellence we validated again last fall during our (Operational Readiness Inspection)."
"(The BRAC's decision) can only mean one thing," Graves said, "It means that DoD recognizes the job you do here at Rosecrans, and the job the 139th has done. That can only mean good things for the future."
Graves is well aware of the base's estimated $75 million annual impact on the St. Joseph, Mo., area economy.
"This base is a big part of the local economy," Graves noted, "and this just helps to continue to assure it long-term."
The Congressman also took the opportunity to thank 139th members for past deployments, as well as the ones gearing up to leave soon. He noted that the Afghanistan mission - for which a number of 139th members are slated - is a challenging one.
"There are incredible challenges ... but I am absolutely confident we are going to win," he said. "It will be tough, but we will win like we always do."