Wicker Visits Meridian Air National Guard Base

Miss. Senator Continues Tour of Mississippi Defense Locations As He Prepares to Take Armed Services Leadership Spot

January 13, 2023

MERIDIAN, MISS. – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., who will soon be the Republican leader of the Senate Armed Services Committee, visited the Mississippi National Guard’s 186th Air Refueling Wing at Key Field Air National Guard Base in Meridian, Miss., to get an update on operations and future plans for the base.

After travelling to Columbus Air Force Base earlier this week, Wicker will continue to visit military installations and defense manufacturing locations across Mississippi and across the country in the coming months.

“This is the second stop on my statewide tour of military installations,” Wicker said. “In my new role as the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, it is very important to meet with military personnel, listen to their priorities, and help with goals for the future.”

During his visit, Wicker toured the 186th Air Refueling Wing, which currently supports a fleet of KC-135R “Stratotanker” aerial refueling aircraft. The 186th is in competition for the future allocation of 8 next-generation KC-46A “Pegasus” aircraft. Wicker saw both platforms in action during a planned aeromedical evacuation exercise, and he repeated his support for modernizing the fleet at Meridian as China makes investments in its own aircraft at range. As a part of this effort, Wicker also heard from military and community stakeholders about their position on aircraft modernization.

“My visit today was just another opportunity to extend my thanks and appreciation for Mississippi’s best and brightest who continue to answer the call for our country,” Wicker said. “We’re here to learn, and we’re here to talk to the community about what we can offer to our defense industrial base, as well as the people who stepped forward and volunteered to protect our nation and keep us safe.”

Read more about Wicker’s work on national defense issues here.