Moorhead, Minn. (July 22, 2015) – The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber is happy to announce that yesterday, Deborah Lee James, the secretary of the U.S. Air Force in Washington, D.C., visited the 119th Wing of the North Dakota Air National Guard base in Fargo.
The Chamber brought James here to discuss the importance and relevance of the mission Fargo’s 119th Wing performs in helping to secure the national defense.
James’ visit included a tour of the 119th Wing’s Predator Operations Center, other base operations and a visit with the base’s airmen. Also welcoming James to the 119th Wing were North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple, Gen. David Sprynczynatyk, adjutant general for the North Dakota National Guard, 119th Wing Base Commander Col. Kent Olson and other National Guard members.
As part of its surveillance and reconnaissance mission, the 119th Wing remains engaged in the Global War on Terror, supporting remote piloted aircraft operations overseas. The North Dakota Air National Guard also has assumed a larger role in missile field security. Additionally, North Dakota airmen continue to serve in various missions across the globe.
James is the 23rd secretary of the Air Force and is responsible for the affairs of the Department of the Air Force, including the organizing, training, equipping and providing for the welfare of its nearly 664,000 active duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian Airmen and their families. She also oversees the Air Force’s annual budget of more than $139 billion. James has 30 years of senior homeland and national security experience in the federal government and the private sector.
“We were excited to host the secretary of the Air Force as she made her lone stop in North Dakota, right here at the 119th Wing of the Air National Guard,” Craig Whitney, President and CEO of the Chamber, said. “As the most prominent dignitary to ever visit the Happy Hooligans, The Chamber was happy to facilitate such a powerful opportunity for a strong connection with the United States Air Force and the 119th Wing of the North Dakota Air National Guard.”
The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce is a bi-state, regional federation of more than 2,100 private, public and non-profit member firms representing more than 98,000 people. The largest local chamber in North Dakota and Minnesota, The Chamber advocates for a strong metropolitan community and supports the interests of its members, which are located in Cass and Clay Counties and beyond.