The Air National Guard’s Combat Readiness Training Center helps prepare units tied to the National Guard, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps for upcoming missions. There are similar facilities in Michigan, Mississippi and Wisconsin.
The White House recommended closing the one in Savannah, which would reduce the Air National Guard’s 165th Airlift Wing’s presence there by about 5%, or 121 people. The administration said closure would allow the Defense Department to save money by eliminating what was perceived as a redundant operation without any unique capabilities compared with the three others.
But the president merely makes recommendations. It is up to Congress to pass annual appropriations legislation that determines how the government spends its money. While Carter praised the report, he said he would keep working to ensure nothing changes as the appropriations process continues.
The Pooler Republican was joined by others in the effort to save the training center, including U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, a Savannah native; U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff; U.S. Rep. Austin Scott, who serves on the Armed Services Committee; and U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, the only Georgia lawmaker on the Appropriations Committee.
Warnock already had plans to visit the training center on Friday to speak about a decision he believes is “bad for Savannah and bad for our national security.” Calling the Biden proposal “misguided,” he said he will continue to work to ensure no cuts move forward.