BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — There’s been a lot of changes for the Battle Creek Air National Guard Base in recent months and they’re learning they’re losing more than two dozen firefighters.
The Air National Guard said their last military plane left the Battle Creek base in July, and with direction under a new mission there will not be any aircraft stationed there. Therefore, there won’t be extra money to pay the 27 fire fighters.
The Air National Guard said their fiscal calendar runs October to October, so September 30, 2014 will be the last day for the 27 fire fighters.
Col. Ron Wilson said 26 traditional Drill States Guardsmen will remain at the base, but are only there one weekend a month and two weeks a year.
Battle Creek City Manager Ken Tsuchiyama said the City of Battle Creek’s Fire Department may have to take on some of the extra work-load and new training may be required to help battle aircraft fires.
Tsuchiyama said that the National Guard’s presence at the airport gives passengers a sense of comfort and security.
“The new mission because it would not require aircraft to actually be located at this base, then some of the changes would be more significant than previous missions,” said Tsuchiyama.
Tsuchiyama also said that he hasn’t given up on finding a solution to keep the 27 fire fighters from the base, and is looking into how the city can legally fund the extra help.