December 15, 2021

Senate Passes Duckworth Provision to Safeguard 182nd Airlift Wing’s Mission & Protect More Than 1,500 Peoria-area Jobs


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), as part of the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that passed the Senate today with a bipartisan vote of 88-11, secured a provision that will establish a minimum inventory for the Air Force’s C-130 fleet, ensuring that the Air Force has sufficient C-130 capacity to carry out critical missions domestically as well as overseas. This provision will also safeguard the mission of Peoria’s 182nd Airlift Wing, protecting the jobs of 1,250 Airmen and approximately 370 full-time employees. The provision is now expected to be signed into law by President Biden.

“C-130s are so essential to the National Guard in carrying out work both at home and abroad,” Duckworth said. “They bring Americans into combat, provide humanitarian relief around the globe and support domestic responses throughout the nation—and have done so reliably for more than 50 years,” Duckworth said. “I’m proud to have successfully included a provision in this year’s NDAA to maintain a minimum total aircraft inventory of C-130s and ensure the 182nd’s mission—as well as the hundreds of good-paying jobs it supports—remains for years to come while helping National Guard units across the country, and right here in Peoria, maintain the ability to respond to new emergencies and domestic missions.”

“Senator Tammy Duckworth has proven herself to be a preeminent voice for our troops in Congress, and I’m pleased to see the Senate pass her provision to secure minimum aircraft inventories for the Air Force,” said Illinois Governor JB Pritzker. “I’ve been a vocal advocate of protecting the fleet to support the emergency response capabilities of the Illinois National Guard, whose Peoria-based 182nd Airlift Wing has been a critical part of the Guard’s emergency response at home and abroad, including delivering PPE, supporting California’s wildfire response, and protecting the U.S. Capitol. This provision is a demonstration of readiness and a recognition of the Guard’s countless sacrifices.”

“The Illinois Air National Guard’s 182nd Airlift Wing provides the nation and state with vital capabilities,” said Maj. Gen. Rich Neely, the Adjutant General for Illinois and Commander of the Illinois National Guard. “The wing has won more than a dozen Air Force awards for readiness and maintenance. Its people and its C-130s played a vital role in the state’s COVID-19 response as well as many other state and national emergencies. Its C-130s also play important roles on overseas deployments. Most recently, the unit assisted with the evacuation of Afghan refugees in Europe.”  

The 182nd’s current C-130H mission performs the tactical portion of various airlift missions and has a strong history of outstanding performance, including the highest C-130H mission capability rate in the Air National Guard from 2009-2017. The 182nd has also achieved the most fully mission capable C-130 hours since June 2013 while flying the most hours since October 2012 for the deployed location. 

Earlier this year, Duckworth visited the 182nd Airlift Wing in Peoria, where she secured commitment from the U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff to safeguard the Wing’s mission and C-130 aircraft after this provision was included in the Senate Armed Services Committee-passed version of the 2022 NDAA. In May Duckworth led a bipartisan group of 13 senators in advocating for the established minimum total aircraft inventory to be included in this year’s NDAA. Last year, Duckworth joined a bipartisan group of Senators in advocating for a large enough C-130 aircraft fleet in Illinois and across the country to support active duty missions as well as respond to disasters and emergencies at home. The effort supported state requests led by Illinois Governor JB Pritzker and 13 other Governors.

Duckworth is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Chair of the SASC Airland Subcommittee. She is an Iraq War Veteran who served in the Reserved Forces for 23 years before retiring from military service in 2014 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. A full list of the Duckworth-authored and supported FY2022 NDAA provisions is available here.