COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Colorado congressman Doug Lamborn is trying to stop the closure of a small Air Force squadron that flies generals and classified cargo in two Lear jets.
The Gazette reports that lawmakers were blindsided by Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson’s plans to close Peterson Air Force Base’s 200th Airlift Squadron by June to save $10 million.
It’s the only unit west of the Mississippi designed to fly what the military calls “distinguished visitors” or DVs. The number of them at Colorado Springs’ five military bases is second only to those at Andrews Air Force Base.
Lamborn says it doesn’t make sense to force the squadron’s 17 Colorado National Guard pilots out when the Air Force is struggling with a pilot shortage.
Wilson says they could instead fly F-16s for Aurora’s 140th Fighter Wing.