Officials Meet with 101st Air Refueling Wing 

Senator Susan Collins and Governor John Baldacci were in Bangor Friday.They met with members of the 101st Air Refueling Wing to discuss the lack of personnel orders from the Air Force beyond the end of the month.That uncertainty has some folks on the base nervous. Meghan Hayward reports.Senator Collins says the Undersecretary of the Air Force has agreed to her request to take a closer look at the Air Force’s needs.Collins says the Bangor base does a better job and is more cost effective than any other base.”I am so impressed with the essential work that is being done here. It is very impressive that 14 percent of all the air refuelings that are done throughout the world are scheduled out of Bangor.”Collins says their work is important for any war effort.”The cargo planes that are being refueled may contain ammunition for our troops or medical supplies. Needed materials for our troops on the front lines.”She says she’ll work closely with the governor to make sure there are no cuts that would undermine the essential mission at the Bangor base.”I’m confident that if the Air Mobility Command weighs in the strategic location of the base, the incredible cost effectiveness of the work being done here. The fact that these missions are going to continue to be done they’re not going to go away that Bangor is going to score at the very top.”LT. Colonel Scott Reynolds says he feels good about the meeting.”There are so many levels of bureaucracy in the government that don’t really understand what we do at the local level. That if you don’t continue to tell that story they don’t understand the need to fund it.”Reynolds says the 150 airmen and women that work at the Bangor base always have some anxiety going into the end of the year because the orders come in at the last minute, but nothing has been as uncertain as this.”Well this time there’s no assurity of anything beyond 31 October. Right now all of these people don’t know if this mission, well we know the mission will continue, just rather we’re doing it or not because we have a paycheck is contingent on decisions made on the secretary level.””What a terrible way to treat men and women of our service that have given so much to this country.”Collins and the governor have extended an invitation to the Undersecretary to visit the Bangor base.