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Connecticut Senator visits 103rd Airlift Wing, tours facilities

U.S. Senator for Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal, talks with members of the Connecticut Air National Guard following a press conference held in the main hangar, Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn.February 24, 2011. Sen. Blumenthal addressed the Air Guard, saying he would pledge to fight as long and as hard as necessary to ensure the Conn. Air Guard receives the support it needs and deserves.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Erin McNamara)

U.S. Senator for Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal, talks with members of the Connecticut Air National Guard following a press conference held in the main hangar, Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn.February 24, 2011. Sen. Blumenthal addressed the Air Guard, saying he would pledge to fight as long and as hard as necessary to ensure the Conn. Air Guard receives the support it needs and deserves. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Erin McNamara)

Maj. Gen. Thaddeus Martin, the adjutant general for Connecticut, introduces U.S. Senator for Connecticut Richard Blumenthal during a press conference held in the main hangar, Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn.February 24, 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo by  Tech. Sgt. Erin McNamara)

Maj. Gen. Thaddeus Martin, the adjutant general for Connecticut, introduces U.S. Senator for Connecticut Richard Blumenthal during a press conference held in the main hangar, Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn.February 24, 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Erin McNamara)

BRADLEY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, East Granby, Conn. -- A United States Senator for Connecticut toured National Guard military facilities across the state Feb. 24, 2011.

Senator Richard Blumenthal visited several National Guard installations including: Camp Niantic's Readiness Center and Regional Training Institute, the Army Aviation Support Facility in Windsor Locks, and Camp Hartell, wrapping up the tour at the 103rd Airlift Wing in East Granby, holding a press conference with Maj. Gen. Thaddeus Martin, the adjutant general and commander of the Connecticut National Guard.

"We've spent the last three-and-a-half to four hours discussing with the senator, as a new member to the Senate Armed Services Committee, the way ahead. Where our challenges lie as we make the transition from C-21 to C-27," said Martin.
Blumenthal said he was excited to show Congress the importance of the work going on at the Connecticut Air National Guard.

"And we are at a critical turning point; because obviously, resources are scarce. We do need to reign in Federal spending; reduce the debt and deficit, but it cannot be--it cannot be--at the expense of our nation's military capability that's reflected in these planes, the construction underway, the renovations and the maintenance ongoing here," said Blumenthal.

Sen. Blumenthal then said he would pledge to fight as long and as hard as necessary to ensure the Connecticut Air National Guard receives the support it needs and deserves.
More importantly, said Blumenthal, the Guardsmen before him were the most important strength and asset of the nation and, "We want to make sure our nation is worthy of your service and sacrifice, and we will always be thankful."

Sen. Blumenthal is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, responsible for overseeing the nation's military forces, including the Department of Defense, military research and development and a variety of other national security issues.