Gov. Phil Bryant Comments on Retention of C-130J Aircraft at Keesler Air Force Base
State, Federal Coordination Result in a Win for Mississippi
JACKSON—Strong coordination among state, federal and community partners is keeping the C-130J aircraft at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi. In past years, there had been a move to deactivate Keesler’s 815th Tactical Airlift Squadron and relocate its 10 C-130J aircraft, known as the “Flying Jennies”, to another state.
Gov. Bryant has worked closely with Mississippi’s congressional delegation to keep the Flying Jennies in Mississippi. He also joined with other Gulf Coast states in expressing to President Obama the importance of the C-I30 J aircraft to natural disaster response in hurricane-prone areas.
“This is outstanding news for Keesler, the Mississippi Gulf Coast and the entire state of Mississippi,” Gov. Phil Bryant said. “Mississippi’s military facilities are vital to the state’s economy, and they are integral to the communities in which they are located. We have been working for several years to prevent the unjustified relocation of these aircraft, and today we see the results of our teamwork. I thank Sen. Cochran, Sen. Wicker and Congressman Palazzo for their efforts.”
Keesler Air Force Base was named the top installation in the United States Air Force in 2013. It is one of the largest employers in south Mississippi with a combined military and civilian payroll of more than $400 million per year. The base generates more than $1 billion in economic impact.