Mayor Swearengin: Arrival of F-15s at 144th Fighter Wing is ‘Great News’ for Fresno

Jun 18, 2013 No Comments by

FRESNO –  Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin today joined officials from the California Air National Guard’s 144th Fighter Wing in welcoming the first F-15 Eagle fighter jets to Fresno.

“The arrival of the F-15 jets is great news for the City of Fresno,” Swearengin said.  “The 144th Fighter Wing has been an important part of the Fresno community for more than 50 years, and these new jets will solidify its long-term presence in our region.”

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin

Swearengin said the 144th Fighter Wing provides significant economic benefits to the Fresno area.  The 144th has 495 full-time employees and 576 part-time reservists, with a full-time annual payroll of more than $41.5 million.  In addition, the 144th’s annual expenditures for supplies and equipment is more than $18.3 million.

“It’s clear that the 144th is a strong economic contributor to our region,” Swearengin said. “Just as importantly, their people are making important contributions to our community every day.”

Swearengin also praised the coordinated effort of the San Joaquin Valley’s congressional delegation, Gov. Jerry Brown’s office and the California National Guard for working to bring the F-15s to Fresno.

“When the 144th faced federal budget cuts last year, our congressional delegation, Gov. Brown’s office and the California National Guard worked quickly to make a compelling case about the importance of keeping the 144th operating in Fresno,” Swearengin said.  “We’re able to celebrate today because of those efforts.”

About 18 to 21 F-15s should arrive in Fresno by October.

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