Delaware Delegation Seeks Emergency Funds For Severely Damaged Air National Guard Unit

Wilmington, DE — Due to the significant tornado-related damage to Delaware’s 166th Air National Guard Unit headquartered at the New Castle County Airport, U.S. Senators Joe Biden (D-DE) and Tom Carper (D-DE) and Congressman Mike Castle (R-DE) immediately requested financial assistance from the Pentagon, the Office of Management and Budget, and Senate and House Appropriators. According to the delegation, the unanticipated twister hit several of the Unit’s buildings and damaged five of their C-130 aircraft. The delegation is seeking $300 million in federal funds to replace the four aircraft that appear unfixable, repair the fifth, and repair the damaged buildings. A portion of the letter follows: “As the Administration is finalizing the supplemental request relating to the devastation caused by hurricanes in the past few weeks, we want to make sure you are also aware of the need to include funds for the damage caused by tornados that spun off of the hurricanes. Yesterday afternoon, a tornado spun off of Hurricane Jeanne and hit the Delaware Air National Guard headquarters at New Castle County Airport. The direct hit damaged both facilities and airplanes. Specifically, four of the 166th Tactical Airlift Wing’s C-130s appear to be damaged beyond repair, and a fifth will need minor repairs. “In order to replace those airplanes and repair the buildings and fifth aircraft, we believe that $300 million will be needed. This estimate is based on the cost of four new C-130s and a preliminary estimate of the structural damage. As you may be aware, the 166th has been actively supporting Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. In fact, one plane is in Afghanistan right now. We believe it is critical to replace the 166th’s damaged planes and structures so that they can stay in the fight and continue providing the airlift needed by our warfighters. “As the nation works together to repair the widespread damage caused this hurricane season, we look forward to working with your office to ensure that the funds needed to repair the damage to the Delaware Air National Guard are included in the next supplemental funding request.” # # #