Louisiana Legislature adopts resolution to reverse the disbanding of the 259th Squadron

LOUISIANA LEGISLATURE ADOPTS SCR-55: RESOLUTION MEMORIALIZES CONGRESS TO SUPPORT THE 259TH AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL SQUADRON LOUISIANA NATIONAL GUARD AND URGES THE LOUISIANA CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION TO TAKE ACTION TO REVERSE THE DISBANDING OF THE SQUADRON

Senator Gallot thanks Senate and House for their Quick Work; Praises Colleagues

England Airpark:  April 11, 2012

Senator Gallot announced today the final passage of SCR-55; a resolution to combat the proposed disbanding of the Louisiana National Guard 259th Air Traffic Control Squadron, located at England Airpark.   Louisiana Senators Gallot, Long, Kostelka, Riser, Adley, Lafleur, Smith, Walsworth and Representative Harris, Armes, Brown, Cox, Hazel introduced this resolution of support for the 259th  requesting the Congressional Delegation to take action to reverse the proposed disbanding of the 259th ATC.  Further, the legislation supports action by the Governor and the Adjutant General in their efforts to reverse the decision.

SCR-55 is attached. Click here to download.

An adopted resolution by the State Legislature is an important tool in outlining the commitment and position of the State of Louisiana regarding the importance of this unit to the State of Louisiana.  This tool will be used by the Congressional delegation in its efforts to reverse the proposed Air Force decision.
   
As to resolution of support:

Senator Rick Gallot:  “I would like to thank the Legislature and particularly my colleagues in Central Louisiana for their swift action on this important measure.”

Representative Lance Harris: “I would like to thank my colleagues for moving this promptly through the House.  Now we are counting on Senator Landrieu, Senator Vitter and Congressman Alexander to reverse the Air Force decision.”

William Barron, Chairman, England Authority:  “On behalf of the England Authority, I would like to thank the Legislature, in particular the Central Louisiana delegation, for their support.”

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 or discussion with Senators Landrieu, Vitter or Congressman Alexander.  Further, the announcement came without the input of the Louisiana National Guard.

The 259th Air Traffic Control Unit is based at England Airpark.  The unit controls the movement of all aircraft in the airspace surrounding Alexandria International Airport (AEX).  The unit mans the air traffic control tower 24/7 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 unit has a direct impact of over $3 million annually to the local economy.  The unit 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 officers, 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.  Please see www.englandairpark.org 

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