U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Francis Evon, adjutant general and commander of the Connecticut National Guard, hosted local and state legislators for a groundbreaking event at the site of the 103rd Airlift Wing’s future Aerospace Support Equipment Vehicle Maintenance Composite Facility at Bradley Air National Guard Base Oct. 16, 2023.
This new $22 million, state-of-the-art facility will replace several out-of-date buildings that were built in 1981 to hold munitions back when the 103rd flew A-10 Thunderbolts and cannot adequately support the equipment and needs of the Wing’s current C-130H and future C-130J flying missions.
“Today is significant as this continues on our campaign to always be ready and always be there and we’re definitely ready and postured for the future,” said Evon. “The unit and our congressional delegation have fought hard over the past decade to ensure the future of the Flying Yankees. Last month we celebrated the Wing’s centennial … 14 different types of aircraft for over 100 years of continuous flying service since 1923.”
Last month the Air Force and Air National Guard also named Connecticut as one of four states to receive the new C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, replacing its current fleet of C-130H aircraft. This new model of aircraft features a more spacious fuselage, more powerful engines, composite six-blade propellers, and fully digital avionics and mission computers.
The transition will also help modernize the Wing and put its fleet up to date with the active-duty Air Force which has already completed its conversion to the J-models.
“Over the last ten years, over $100 million has been invested into the base thanks to the hard work of our airmen and the investment of our Congressional delegation and support from the State of Connecticut as we are well positioned as a modern Wing and ready for a modern flying mission,” said Evon. “As I said earlier, the Flying Yankees celebrated their 100-year anniversary and now I can clearly state the next 100 years looks very bright.”
“I’d like to think a modernized maintenance facility is a lot more than that, it’s a little way that we’re able to show respect for the incredible things that you do on behalf of our state,” said Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, who praised some of the Connecticut National Guard’s most recent assignments with the COVID-19 pandemic, storm cleanup after Hurricane Isaias, and multiple overseas deployments to contingency locations around the globe.
As one of the oldest Air National Guard units in the country, the Flying Yankees have a tradition of excellence dating back to World War 1 and the advent of aviation. This new 30,300 square foot facility is scheduled to be completed in June 2025.