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As One Of Seven Finalists Nationwide, Reps Say Stewart, Home Of 105th Airlift Wing, Has Already Proven To Be Critical Hub For Mobilizing Guard and NY First Responders During Pandemic and 9/11, And Will Be A Perfect Home For New AES

Reps To Feds: State-Of-The-Art AES Would Bring New Jobs, Funding, & Medical Experts, Helping Stewart & Orange County Economy Take Off 

Following their major advocacy last year, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, U.S. Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand, and U.S. Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney today renewed their call for the United States Air Force and Air National Guard to station the newest Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron (AES) at Stewart Air National Guard (ANG) Base, home of the 105th Airlift Wing (AW) in Newburgh, New York. The new AES will bring state-of-the-art in-flight emergency medical care and new job opportunities to the Hudson Valley at a time when New York State’s unemployment rate is skyrocketing.

The representatives explained that Stewart ANG’s response to the national coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been nothing short of exemplary, leveraging their prior experience responding to disasters, such as during the September 11, 2001 attacks, to quickly and effectively set up mobile testing sites, perform thousands of COVID-19 tests, and expand ICU capacity at medical treatment centers.

“Stewart Air National Guard Base is ideally situated for the Air National Guard’s Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron and deserves to be selected. Stewart has continuously delivered for New York State, as during the COVID-19 health crisis where Stewart has been integral in helping New York fight the virus and flatten the curve,” said Senator Schumer. “The existing infrastructure at this first-rate ANG installation, combined with the C-17 military transport aircraft and phenomenal service members of the 105th Airlift Wing, ensure that Stewart would be more than capable of hosting an Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron. I’ll continue doing everything in my power to bring the next AES to Stewart, to create new jobs at the base and ensure that our troops receive the best medical care possible when risking their lives to protect our health and freedom.”

“Stewart Air National Guard Base has continuously proven that they have the capabilities and resources needed to serve as the ANG’s next Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron. During our country’s health crisis, they have served as an invaluable asset in New York’s fight against this pandemic, said Senator Gillibrand, ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee. “As New York experiences soaring unemployment rates due to the COVID-19 outbreak, bringing the AES to Stewart would deliver critical economic development opportunities and job creation to the Hudson Valley. It’s clear that Stewart is the best fit to provide a highly advanced in-flight emergency medical care center and greatly increase the military’s ability to respond to medical emergencies. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee I’m proud to fight to bring this new mission to New York.”

“Throughout the pandemic, the 105th Airlift Wing at Stewart ANGB have proven they have the skills and experience needed to respond to disasters, medical emergencies, and national security threats. These brave men and women - and our existing infrastructure - makes it a common sense choice for the Air Force’s new mission,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney. “With standout personnel, equipment, and experience, Stewart is the perfect location for the Air National Guard’s new Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron. Together, we’re going to fight to bring this mission to the Hudson Valley.”

Schumer, Gillibrand, and Maloney’s urging comes after a year of tireless advocacy for the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard to bring the next AES to Stewart ANG Base. Last December, the representatives announced that the Base had been selected as one of the finalists to host the new AES. More recently, members of the Air Force and National Guard selection committee visited the installation as part of the Department’s final evaluation.

The lawmakers argue that Stewart ANG Base is an ideal location due to the operational, manpower, capacity and cost advantages provided by the base and wing. Stewart ANG’s 105 Airlift Wing currently operates nine C-17 Globemaster III aircraft and retains the elite transport equipment needed to effectively deploy an AES unit. Furthermore, the representatives explained that Stewart ANG Base, one of the largest ANG bases in the United States, features an on-site pharmacy and advanced facilities that fulfill the Air Force and Air National Guard’s scoring criteria for locating an AES.  

Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, and Congressman Maloney’s letter to the Air Force and Air National Guard can be found below:

Dear Secretary Barrett and Lieutenant General Rice:

As the United States Air Force (USAF) evaluates the results of the recent on-site and virtual surveys of Stewart Air National Guard Base (ANGB) in New York, along with six other Air National Guard sites under consideration to be selected as the host for a new Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron (AES), we write to underscore the compelling reasons why Stewart ANGB, home of the 105th Airlift Wing (AW) remains the optimal location for establishment of this AES.

The operational value of these assets has been evident during the New York National Guard’s ongoing response to the COVID19 pandemic. Medical and logistics personnel from the 105th AW continue to respond admirably in support of the COVID-19 response, as they did in 2001 as part of the 9/11/01 initial response base of operations following the attack against our nation on September 11, 2001. Stewart ANGB and the 105th have been leveraging their prior years of experience to address medical requirements on a scale not experienced in this country in more than 100 years, setting up mobile testing sites, performing thousands of COVID-19 tests, and expanding intensive care unit (ICU) capacity at medical treatment centers.

Located just north of the New York City metropolitan area (and the Pentagon’s most prolific Recruiting Battalion in the US), the 105th AW from Stewart has consistently met or exceeded its manning requirements overall; and in particular to meet medical staffing requirements (doctors, registered nurses, and medical technicians). They, along with the 106th Rescue Wing on Long Island, represent the finest the National Guard can provide in terms of medical personnel and capabilities to meet AES and Defense Support to Civil Authorities in times of emergency and medical crises as is being experienced in America today.

From a mission perspective, the 105th AW operates and sustains nine C-17 Globemaster III aircraft to meet AES requirements. Additionally, due to their Strategic Airlift mission, the 105th has the necessary aircraft transport equipment to effectively deploy an AES unit.

From the perspective of the capacity criteria for assigning a new AES, Stewart ANGB has an on-site pharmacy.  At 267 acres, Stewart is one of the largest Air National Guard bases in the country, with more than just the essential facilities needed to support operational, training, and equipment storage duties.

For these reasons, it is our belief that Stewart ANGB is the optimal site in your selection process given mission projection assets, sustained & medically skilled staff, proximity to one of the largest recruiting basins in the United States, and an installation with advanced facilities and necessary capacity consistent with your scoring criteria.

We look forward to your selection decision later this summer, and are confident that you will confirm that the 105th is eminently capable to perform the AES mission and that Stewart ANGB is the site which provides all the capabilities you need to host the next Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron.