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Key Field gets new life with C-27J program

MERIDIAN — The U.S. Air Force is locating a new formal training unit at Key Field Air National Guard Base at Meridian.

Mississippi U.S. Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, Mississippi Congressman Greg Harper, Gov. Haley Barbour and Meridian Mayor Cheri M. Barry were informed yesterday that Key Field had been selected as the Air Force’s “preferred alternative” to host a C-27J formal training unit (FTU) mission.

The decision will bring two additional C-27J aircraft to Meridian, increasing the planned total to six. An estimated 37 full-time employees and 85 trainees annually will be associated with the FTU, bringing the total personnel associated with the C-27J platform to 142 by 2015 when the mission is fully operational.

“I am convinced that the qualities represented in Key Field, the Mississippi Air National Guard and the people of Meridian were instrumental in leading the Defense Department to this decision. This new training mission is a solid indication that Key Field will be a long-term asset to the Air National Guard and the U.S Air Force as Mississippi continues to contribute to our nation’s security,” Cochran said.

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