Central Louisiana mobilizes to save 259th ATC

England Airpark:  April 10, 2012

STAKEHOLDERS WORK TOGETHER TO ADOPT UNIFIED POSITION

To combat the proposed disbanding of the Louisiana National Guard 259th Air Traffic Control Unit located at England Airpark, the Central Louisiana community is working together to adopt a unified position.

Each political subdivision in Rapides Parish; the Vernon Parish Police Jury; Leesville; Natchitoches Parish; Natchitoches and other towns and cities in our area have been asked to adopt the attached resolution.  Also, the Central Louisiana Chamber of Commerce, the Central Louisiana Economic Development Agency and others have been asked to support this effort.

These resolutions of support will be provided to the Congressional Delegation for use in their efforts to reverse the proposed decision.

Sample resolution is attached.

As to resolutions of support:

Jon Grafton, Executive Director, England Airpark:  "We look forward to support from our Central Louisiana partners.  Speaking with one voice gives the Congressional Delegation the support needed for this important battle."  

History:

In March, the United States Air Force announced the proposed disbanding of the 259th Air Traffic Control Squadron.  The announcement by the United States Air Force came without consultation with Senators Landrieu, Vitter or Congressman Alexander.  Further, the announcement came without the input of the Louisiana National Guard.

The 259th Air Traffic Control Squadron is based at England Airpark.  The 259th controls the movement of all aircraft in the airspace surrounding Alexandria International Airport (AEX).  The unit mans the air traffic control tower at AEX while also providing radar, navigation aide and communication support.  The unit handles fixed wing aircraft from Cessna’s to C5/747; also full range of civilian and military helicopter activity.  The unit is a member of the Louisiana National Guard.  There are 110 persons in this unit.  The 259 has deployed overseas on a number of occasions along with performing disaster relief duty in the United States.  To date, the Squadron has safely deployed over 500,000 personnel, 170,000 tons of military cargo as well as supported numerous flag officer, foreign political and military  visits in direct support of Ft. Polk.
 
Further information will be forthcoming regarding Central Louisiana’s efforts to save the 259th Air Traffic Control Squadron.  We ask the Central Louisiana media to widely distribute this information so that our citizens have a chance to support this effort.

The England Authority is a political subdivision of the State of Louisiana which owns and manages England Airpark, the former England Air Force Base.  England Airpark includes Alexandria International Airport and multiple conversion projects, for which it has been nationally recognized as the premier model for reuse and development of closed military bases.

For more information contact:

Jon Grafton,
Executive Director England Airpark
318-792-6063

LTC Micheal Kazmierzak
Louisiana National Guard
504-278-8286

Senator Mary Landrieu
202-224-5824

Senator David Vitter
202-224-4623

Jamie Hanks
Congressman Rodney Alexander
202-225-8490