New Mexico Air National Guard Needs A New Mission

Our Democrat U.S. Senators were AWOL when President Obama stripped the New Mexico Air National Guard (NMANG) of its F-16s. Our Air National Guard now has no airplanes. It’s the only state that doesn’t. (Even Puerto Rico’s ANG has airplanes.)

Instead of working with the Trump Administration to find a new mission and new planes for our Air National Guard, Sen. Martin Heinrich attacks it. It’s no surprise that Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson (from New Mexico) says she is not optimistic about New Mexico regaining its F-16s.

New Mexico needs a U.S. Senator who will engage with the Department of Defense to ensure our military bases and Air National Guard have the right missions, and that those missions are supported.

As New Mexico’s next U.S. Senator, I will propose that our Air National Guard be assigned at least one wing of C-130 cargo transport aircraft. Why? Kirtland AFB is already home to C-130s, and our ANG helps maintain them. We have great air space for training. New Mexico and Albuquerque are not susceptible to bad weather or natural disasters. Cargo planes based in New Mexico would be out of harm’s way and ready to transport needed relief supplies to disaster areas anywhere in the United States at a moment’s notice.

“When your community is hurting, New Mexico will be there to help.” Can you imagine the public goodwill created by that statement? It’s a much better headline than New Mexico has received in recent years. Businesses would see that if the U.S. government trusts New Mexico to keep our nation’s emergency resources safe, then New Mexico is a safe place for their manufacturing plants, inventories – and most importantly, their loved ones.

It is time for a new Senator for New Mexico, and a new mission for the New Mexico Air National Guard.