(Host) The Vermont Air National Guard has a new mission. The 158th Fighter Wing will patrol the air space above the southeastern part of the United States, and investigate suspicious aircraft that enter U.S. air space. The 158th Fighter Wing will continue its general purpose mission of supporting which support U.S. military operations worldwide.
Under the new mission, 34 full-time Vermont Guard members will be stationed at Shaw Air Force Base in North Carolina. Adjutant General Martha Rainville says the mission will strengthen the Vermont Air Guard’s position within the Department of Defense:
(Rainville) “We have to as a unit look at, what’s best for the nation, what the nation needs as far as capability, but what’s going to keep us pointed in the direction we want to go in. This unit has the capability and the expertise to stay in fighters – we’d love to see a joint strike fighter out on our ramp. To get us there, we have to have a very specific strategic plan, we have to be relevant, we have to be important to DOD, we have to be important to the country and this mission helps us do that.”
(Host) About 70 full-time Guard members will be hired to fulfill the mission in North Carolina and in Vermont.