ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) - An unusual company is relocating to Albuquerque and it will need several hundred highly skilled workers.
It's core business is flying warplanes that are about to become familiar sights in the sky around New Mexico.
Air USA is a civilian organization that helps train military pilots from the U.S. and other countries in advanced fighter pilot skills.
To do that it operates it's own squadron of high-performance jets, including Russian-made MIG-29 Fighters still one of the top performing warplanes in the world.
Company president Don Kirlin says it's our Tacos that helped lure him here. Not the Mexican food but the famed Fighting Tacos , the New Mexico Air Guard F-16 unit that flew out of Kirtland for decades until it was disbanded three years ago.
Many of those air guard veterans, both air and ground crews, are still here. They and other vets have skills Air USA need as the company eventually expands to as many as 200 employees.
"We will be hiring admin people, accountants, pilots, technicians, ordinance loaders and on and on. All these people that would be in a squadron," Kirlin said.
In addition to direct jobs, New Mexico will get economic benefits from military units that will come here to train. Governor Martinez is hoping that will have a domino effect.
"It's exciting because another company will come and another will follow because they will share their experience they're having with New Mexico," Martinez said.
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