JACKSON, MISS–After a battle to have them moved, Governor Phil Bryant announces that the C-130J cargo aircraft housed at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi are staying there.
The suggestion to move then came up during the Obama administration, and it was a suggestion that lawmakers fought against. Governor Phil Bryant says it’s the teamwork between state, local, and federal leaders that made the decision to keep the cargo aircraft, known as the “Flying Jennies” where they are.
“This is outstanding news for Keesler, the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and the entire state of Mississippi,” Gov. Phil Bryant said.
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.
“The reexamination and rejection of that plan is the right decision, and I look forward to additional conversations with the Air Force to ensure the manpower and mission of the 815th Tactical Airlift Squadron are fully restored,” said Senator Thad Cochran, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and its Subcommittee on Defense.
But more than that, the cargo aircraft help out during times of disaster. They aid in providing relief to the Gulf States and other hurricane-prone areas after a natural disaster has occurred.