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Nation’s top military officer visits Pease Air National Guard Base, meets with local defense suppliers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), along with Congresswomen Annie Kuster (D-NH) and Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH), welcomed the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, to New Hampshire today to meet with military officials at Pease Air National Guard Base and representatives from local defense companies. 

“Pease’s selection as the top Air National Guard base to receive the KC-46A tanker and the success of the New Hampshire National Guard’s Deployment Cycle Support Program underscore New Hampshire’s important contributions to our national security,” said the New Hampshire delegation in a statement following the visit.  “We appreciated the opportunity to highlight these successes and discuss additional New Hampshire priorities with General Dempsey during his visit today.”

Pease, home to the New Hampshire National Guard’s 157th Air Refueling Wing, was recently selected by the Air Force as the top Air National Guard base to receive the new KC-46A tanker.  Pending the results of an environmental impact study, Pease will be the first Air National Guard unit to receive the next generation tanker.  Delegation members worked together to advocate for Pease during the basing decision process, and they and General Dempsey were briefed on the tanker transition by Guard officials today.

Guard officials also discussed the Deployment Cycle Support Program, which supports service members and their families before, during, and after deployments, and assists returning service members as they transition back to civilian life. An integrated partnership between the New Hampshire National Guard, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Easter Seals, and civilian and veteran service organizations, DCSP combines public funding and private resources to establish an integrated, sustainable, and fiscally-responsible service delivery framework.

In addition, General Dempsey met with representatives from several New Hampshire defense suppliers that provide products or services to the Department of Defense. 

Earlier today, General Dempsey joined New Hampshire and Maine congressional delegation members at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard for meetings with shipyard officials and a tour of the yard’s facilities.