RENO, Nev. — Gov. Steve Sisolak and Nevada’s entire congressional delegation are urging the Air Force to make the Nevada Air National Guard base in Reno the home for a new regional air squadron to respond to emergencies and disasters.

Sisolak, U.S. Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen, and U.S. Reps. Mark Amodei, Dina Titus, Steven Horsford and Susie Leesent a letter to Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett Friday touting the Air Guard base in Reno as the best location for a new aeromedical evacuation squadron.

They say the Reno base’s 152nd Airlift Wing is uniquely suited to house the squadron, partly because of its proximity to the West Coast, and the wing’s experience in natural disaster and medical emergency response.

“As the Air Force continues with its strategic basing process to establish a new aeromedical evacuation squadron within the Air National Guard, we respectfully request your careful consideration of the 152nd Airlift Wing at the Nevada Air National Guard Base in Reno, Nevada, as the premier location for AES expansion," the letter states.

There are now only four such squadrons located west of the continental divide, the letter notes. Placing a unit, the 10th overall, in Reno would help mitigate the disproportionate allocation of the units in the East.

“The combination of the C-130 airframe, ideal geographic location, extensive Domestic Operations history, strong recruiting base, innovative and sustainable training initiatives and facilities ensure the success of an AES for Nevada, the ANG and the U.S. Air Force,” the letter states.

The base is in the center of the Pacific Time Zone, with 2.5-hour flight times to the West Coast or Rocky Mountains, the letter notes. The air wing played a significant role responding to wildfires in Colorado and California in 2018 and to hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico in 2017.

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