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Posted on September 18, 2023
Bradley Air National Guard Base, Conn.—Connecticut Army and Air National Guard members met with a group of about 35 legislators on Friday, including Representative Tony Scott (R-112) to show how state dollars are put to use, and to highlight their readiness to respond to emergencies.
It was announced last week that Connecticut’s 103rd Airlift Wing was one of four units to receive a squadron of eight C-130J aircraft. The new aircraft will replace the unit’s current inventory of C-130H aircraft.
“These new planes will ensure Connecticut has an active air base for decades to come. Connecticut National Guard members play an integral part of storm response and help in other emergencies. They not only bring supplies to neighborhoods damaged by natural disasters, but also provided boots on the ground during the pandemic,” said Scott.
The Connecticut National Guard is funded with about $6 million from the state and $300 million from the federal government.
“As a member of the Higher Education Committee, I was fascinated to learn that the Connecticut National Guard has more land and square footage than the Connecticut State Colleges and University System with a tenth of the staff and fraction of the budget,” added Scott.
There are 17 Readiness Centers in Connecticut, six storefront recruiting offices, four maintenance shops, two Army aviation sites, three training sites, one logistic site, two militia sites, and two Air Guard sites. There is also a Military Working Dogs training site in Newtown. The K9s work with TSA, State Police, and Homeland Security. They are trained to detect explosives and drugs.
During the most recent legislative session, the General Assembly approved funding in the budget for recruiting and retention programs and increased the Connecticut Military Department’s construction cost threshold from $2 million to $3 million,
Major General Francis Evon Jr., Adjutant General of the Connecticut National Guard, outlined priorities for the upcoming General Assembly session, including expansion of the tuition waiver/education benefits, expansion of the state licensing fee waivers, and clarification of applicable “military duty” terms for leave for state employees. He also wants to have legislators expand the Military Facility Leasing Program to generate outside funding for the National Guard.