WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) released the following statement on the United States Air Force’s announcement that Minnesota’s 133rd Airlift Wing was selected to receive eight new C-130J aircraft.

These new C-130J aircraft will replace decades-old C-130H aircraft. Upgrading the fleet will ensure that the 133rd Airlift Wing is able to continue carrying out critical missions to respond to challenges at home and abroad.

“By awarding these aircraft to the 133rd Airlift Wing, the Air Force has recognized the 133rd’s strong record of accomplishment and history of distinguished service,” said Klobuchar. “These new aircraft will enhance the 133rd Airlift Wing’s performance, readiness, and capabilities, improving our nation’s security.

Klobuchar worked across the aisle to help secure these aircraft for Minnesota’s 133rd Airlift Wing. 

In June, Klobuchar led the Minnesota delegation in sending a bipartisan, bicameral letter to Director of the Air National Guard Lieutenant General Michael Loh urging the Air National Guard and the U.S. Air Force to select Minnesota National Guard’s 133rd Airlift Wing to receive new C-130J transport planes.  

In July, Klobuchar led a bipartisan amendment with John Barrasso (R-WY), Tina Smith (D-MN), and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) to ensure the Air Force maintains at least 271 C-130 aircraft across all components of the Air Force. This passed the Senate in the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and, when passed in the final version, which will directly support Minnesota's 133rd Airlift Wing. 

Klobuchar met with the Minnesota National Guard’s 133rd Airlift Wing in July 2023 and 148th Fighter Wing in June 2022 to highlight her support for maintaining its fleet of C-130s and discuss her successful efforts to secure propeller upgrades for eight aircrafts.

In the FY23 NDAA, the Senators secured language that required the Air Force to operate at least 271 C-130 aircraft, ensuring the Minnesota National Guard did not lose any C-130 aircraft.