The 200th Airlift Squadron, operated by Colorado National Guard airmen has a pair of C-21 Learjet aircraft and transports VIP’s around the world.

With just two planes and 17 pilots, the pint-sized 200th Airlift Squadron at Peterson Air Force has flown under the radar for years. But, in a $10 million cost-cutting move that blindsided lawmakers, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson wants it gone by June.

“It’s not supposed to work that way,” said Colorado Springs Republican U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn as he visited the unit last week.

The unit’s commander, Lt. Col. Derek Tate, said his troops are scrambling to find jobs and care for their families. “A lot of them changed their lives to move here to join this squadron,” he said. – The Gazette

The Air Force is not backing down and insists the unit should be shutdown this summer.

Featured image of a C-21 Learjet airlift aircraft from the 200th Airlift Squadron, Colorado Air National Guard, based at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., sits on the ramp during an air defense training exercise in Anchorage, Alaska 

U.S. Air National Guard photo by Lt. Col. Derek Tate

2 C-21s on ramp in Alaska
 U.S. Air National Guard photo by Lt. Col. Derek Tate c-21