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Missouri Treasurer Visits 139th Airlift Wing

Col. Ralph Schwader takes State Treasurer Clint Zweifel on a guided tour of the facilities at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Missouri State Treasurer Clint Zweifel took a tour around the Rosecrans Air National Guard Base Friday morning.

His tour guide was Col. Ralph Schwader, Wing Commander for the 139th Airlift Wing.

"It was a great opportunity for us to tell our story," Col. Schwader said.  "It's an honor and a privilege to have the treasurer of the state of Missouri at the 139th Airlift Wing.  And it's great to have his ear for three hours."

Zweifel's visit comes a few weeks after a planned visit needed to be cancelled.

That visit was to include Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, with an announcement that Zweifel was appointed as the head of the newly formed Missouri Military Partnership.

In a briefing, the treasurer hears detailed descriptions of each department within the 139th.

Each division leader gets to explain why they're important to the operation here.

"I think they did great," Col. Schwader said.  "I think Treasurer Zweifel was very impressed and learned some things that we can do here at the 139th."

Zweifel agrees, saying he's pleased with the amount the 139th can do on a small, compact base.

"You can't walk away from Rosecrans without feeling a sense of excitement about what our leaders are doing here on the ground every day," he said.

An Executive Order from the governor asks Zweifel to head a study on the economic impact on Missouri's military force.

Leaders at Rosecrans are happy to report that their facility, while small, boasts a billion-dollar impact on its community.

"The work that they're doing here is really spectacular," Zweifel remarked.  "We're training 18 allied nations right now on the C-130.  We have a retired individual who helped design the airspace above Iraq that's used today; that countries can now use.  There's just a great story that can be told here."

The commanders at Rosecrans also informed Treasurer Zweifel of their desire to add new facilities at the base.

They'd like more robust aircraft and a flight simulator for more cost-effective training.

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