Costa Cheers F-15’s Arrival at 144th
June 18, 2013
Fresno, CA- Rep. Jim Costa cheered the arrival of the F-15 fighter jet at the 144th Fighter Wing in Fresno. Costa has been a key voice in urging the Air Force to approve the conversion from the older F-16 aircraft to the newer F-15 aircraft. In late May, the Air Force granted final approval for the conversion that would bring 18 F-15s to the 144th Fighter Wing.
“The men and women of the 144th stand ready to protect us, and local, state, and federal officials stood together to support their critical mission,” said Costa. “In the past, I have said that I would not rest until the F-15s were on the ground. The hard work and dedication by many has made the touchdown of the F-15 a reality that will strengthen our economy and our national security for years to come. Today, we celebrate this next chapter for the 144th Fighter Wing, and tonight we can all sleep a little easier knowing our brave Guardsmen and women have all the tools necessary to keep our skies safe.”
Conversion to the F-15 mission will add an additional 22 military positions at the 144th, and total payroll associated with these new employees would amount to an estimated salary increase of more than $1.5 million.
For over 50 years the 144th Fighter Wing has executed the Aerospace Control Alert (ACA) mission over the Southwest region of the United States. The mission protects and defends the airspace and population centers of the Southwest from potential threats.