Air National Guard Director Tours Fargo’s 119th Wing

They reviewed the base Reaper mission, as well as efforts to establish a new operations center

FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) – The Air National Guard director was in Fargo to hear about the important role the 119th Wing plays in supporting military operations around the globe.

While in Fargo he heard about opportunities to enhance the base and strengthen the educational benefits.

“The senator is right, we need smart people in the National Guard,” Lieutenant General Michael Loh said.

North Dakota Senator John Hoeven provided some insight into the new MQ-9 operations facility and more.

“We now secured $17.5 millon in the fiscal year 2021 budget which is funding to build a new operations center here on base,” Hoeven said.

The senator outlined opportunities to support and enhance the wing’s MQ-9 Reaper mission.

“We added $108 million to secure an additional 16 black 5 MQ 9s. That’s important because we need the aircraft here. With the kind of missions we are doing we need it for our Airforce for Air guard for the defense of our country,” Hoeven said.

The senator also spoke about ongoing efforts to strengthen the education benefits available to Air Guard members.

“One of the keys is that we help pay for their education. So, we want to make sure that our guard and our reserve can access both their federal tuition assistance and GI bill educational benefit access both of those and use both benefits we have to make sure our guardsmen can access that,” Hoeven said.

Lieutenant General Loh made it clear how impressed he was over the air base and the airmen and women on site.

“When we say always ready, always there the motto of the national guard, this unit has delivered that readiness,” Loh said.

The Air Guard anticipates breaking ground on the facility later this year with a completion date in 2023.

Categories: Local News, North Dakota News