WASHINGTON, March 21 -


Madam Speaker, the gulf coast is known for its whip-whirling tropical storms, devastating hurricanes, wildfires, and floods; and whenever such storms hit, C 130 aircraft sweep in from Fort Worth, Texas, at a moment's notice. They bring lifesaving supplies and cargo to rescue civilians. The C 130s have carried out 423 gulf storm response missions, evacuated 300 storm victims, and transported over 900 tons of emergency supplies to the gulf region alone.

But, Madam Speaker, for some reason, the Air Force wants to remove the C 130s from Texas and send them to Montana. Madam Speaker, when is the last time you heard of a hurricane in Montana?

The expensive, unwise transfer of the C 130s would cost taxpayers $100 million.

The C 130s have come to the rescue in Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Ike, and Gustav. When I served in a C 130 unit at Houston's Ellington Field in the seventies, I came to know how efficient these aircraft are. That's why they are nicknamed the ìHercules.î

Keep these lifesaving planes in the gulf where they are needed. Don't send them to Montana.

And that's just the way it is.