FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 6, 2009

GOVERNOR PATERSON ANNOUNCES NEW MISSION FOR AIR NATIONAL GUARD UNIT AT STEWART AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE

Assignment Will Trigger Significant Expansion at Stewart, Create Construction and Ancillary Jobs


Governor David A. Paterson today announced that an elite group of New York Air National Guard Airmen has been selected to join a highly trained force of security personnel charged with defending air bases in dangerous regions around the world. The airmen, from the 105th Security Forces Squadron of the 105th Airlift Wing at Stewart Air National Guard Base (ANGB), will be paired with an active Air Force unit to conduct security missions.

This new assignment triggers the relocation of some 200 Guardsmen and women from across the State to Stewart ANGB, requiring construction of a new building to accommodate the larger unit. This expansion will house new training facilities, equipment storage and office space and bring dozens of new construction and support jobs to the Lower Hudson Valley. The New York National Guard will make a $15 million federal funding request for this project, a top priority in the coming year.

“This partnership between the New York Air National Guard and the United States Air Force demonstrates the confidence the military has in our citizen airmen,” Governor Paterson said. “Stewart Air National Guard Base and the 105th Airlift Wing are playing a key role in our national defense. This new partnership, and the Air Force’s decision to construct a new facility to house the security force, highlights the important work of our Air National Guard in the military posture of this country. This project will be good for the construction industry in the Lower Hudson Valley, as well as for the security of the United States.”

Under this initiative, about 290 airmen from Stewart – organized in 30-person teams – will be deployed overseas for 179 days. The first deployment is scheduled to begin in October 2010. Six weeks prior to the start of their mission, the Guardsmen and women will move to Moody Air Force Base in southeast Georgia to join their active Air Force counterparts, the 820th Security Forces Group, for training. After completing their deployment, the New York Guardsmen and women will return home and may take personal leave.

Major General Joseph Taluto, the Adjutant General of New York and the commander of the New York National Guard, said: “This mission demonstrates the vital role that citizen airmen and soldiers of the New York National Guard continue to play in combating terrorism around the world. The men and women of the 105th Airlift Wing are ready and willing to start training for this new role. This new mission will not only enhance the capability of the United States Air Force to meet national objectives but will also increase the capabilities of the New York National Guard right here at home due to the additional training these airmen will receive.”

Lieutenant General Harry Wyatt, Director of the Air National Guard, said: “This partnership benefits not only the Air Force, but our joint and coalition partners throughout the world. Our Air Force Security Forces professionals are the front line of defense for our personnel and aircraft deployed overseas. Combining the expertise of our citizen airmen with the experience of our active duty teammates vastly increases the capability these defenders provide our deployed commanders.”

Brigadier General Verle Johnston, Commander of the 105th Airlift Wing, said: “This selection acknowledges the faith the United States Air Force has in the capabilities of the 105th Airlift Wing. We look forward to partnering with the active duty Air Force. We are confident that the men and women of the Hudson Valley will see this as another great opportunity and reason to join the 105th Airlift Wing.”

Stewart Air National Guard Base is located just 70 miles north of New York City and has a 25-year proven track record for answering the call to duty both in New York State and around the globe. The Wing has more than 1,500 assigned members, many of them involved in the Global War on Terrorism and Homeland Defense operations. The 105th Airlift Wing is one of three Air National Guard units in the country with an operational C-5 mission. The unit’s 13 aircraft regularly fly missions around the world in support of America's armed forces.