Carper, Coons, Blunt Rochester Celebrate Groundbreaking of Delaware Air National Guard’s Hangar

Today, U.S. Senators Tom Carper, Chris Coons, U.S. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester (all D-Del.) celebrated the groundbreaking of the Delaware Air National Guard’s Fuel Cell and Corrosion Control Hangar for their C-130 aircrafts. They were joined by Major General Michael Berry, Adjutant General of the Delaware National Guard, and Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long. The Fuel Cell and Corrosion Control Hangar plays a critical role in sustaining the tactical airlift mission of the 166th Airlift Wing. The hangar is now fully funded for construction with an expected completion date of January 2025.

The current facility, built in 1962, does not fully enclose a C-130 aircraft, and the tail must be left outside the hangar bay. The fire protection system is inadequate, and the facility has other health and safety deficiencies. Ultimately, the facility does not meet force protection measures, and it cannot be expanded since it will interfere with the aircraft parking apron clearance. 

Carper, Coons and Blunt Rochester secured $17.5 million for the construction of the hangar in the Fiscal Year 2022 government spending package.

“I am proud we were able to secure the majority of the funding for this crucial project to help Delaware’s Air National Guard be able to safely and efficiently maintain their C-130 aircraft,” said Senator Carper, a 23-year veteran of the Navy. “From my days as Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Delaware National Guard to today, I am proud of the men and women who serve Delaware and our neighbors, and I will continue to make sure they have everything they need to be mission ready.”

“I’m thrilled to break ground on this state-of-the-art Fuel Cell and Corrosion Control Hangar that will help our Air National Guard house the C-130 aircraft the current hangar is meant to store,” said Senator Coons. “Today’s event represents years of work by our congressional delegation to secure the $17.5 million necessary to make this project happen. I’m so proud to stand with Major General Berry and my colleagues in Congress today to move the mission of our Air National Guard forward.”

“Today’s groundbreaking ceremony is the culmination of years of hard work, collaboration, and tenacity,” said Representative Blunt Rochester. “As we mark the start of the long-awaited construction of the new Fuel Cell and Corrosion Control Hangar, I am extremely proud to have worked with my team as well as Senator Carper and Senator Coons to have secured this critical funding that will invest in the Guard’s safety and preparedness and in turn make our state safer, stronger and even more resilient. I can’t wait to trade in the shovel for a pair of scissors and come back to see the brand new and beautiful hangar that will support the work of our incredible Delaware National Guard.”

“There are numerous reasons this project is important to the Delaware Air National Guard, but none bigger than enhancing the safety of the men and women who will be working in this building,” said Major General Berry. “This new hangar will make their jobs safer, and for that I am grateful!”  

“Our Delaware Air National Guard tirelessly serves our state and country every single day — I personally witnessed that dedication during the COVID-19 pandemic working side-by-side with many members,” said Delaware Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long. “I’m so thrilled that thanks to the hard work of our Congressional Delegation, the new Fuel Cell and Corrosion Control Hangar will set the Guard up for the future. As a wife of a veteran and daughter of a Guardsman, I know these investments are critical. The Governor and I are so excited to see this new hangar and look forward to the next steps.”