Ft Bragg Airlift Wing May Not Earn Reprieve Airmen Say

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR Fort Bragg’s 440th Airlift Wing may not be saved after all, according to members of the Air Force Reserve unit based at the installation’s Pope Field.The airmen say they expect the Air Force to announce shortly that it will inactive the wing by the end of the fiscal year, reported the Fayetteville Observer.A spokeswoman for the 440th, however, said no official announcement has come down from headquarters.The Air Force first proposed deactivating the 440th as a cost-cutting move two years ago in its fiscal 2015 budget request, but last month North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis (R) told the Observer that Air Force officials were considering a compromise that would satisfy the Army’s airborne training requirements at Fort Bragg. Tillis successfully added a provision to last year’s defense authorization bill requiring the Air Force to consult with the Army over its plan to dismantle the unit.Tillis and much of the state’s congressional delegation been fighting the Air Force’s plan say dismantling the airlift wing would hinder the ability of airborne units at the post to quickly deploy to global hotspots.“For years, bureaucrats at the Pentagon have embarked on a reckless and short-sighted pursuit to shutter the 440th Airlift Wing, even though it would negatively impact America’s Global Response Force during national emergencies,” Tillis said. “The most disappointing aspect of the Pentagon’s secretive process is how disrespectful it is to the Fayetteville community and the airborne soldiers, airmen and families at Fort Bragg who have a deep personal stake in this decision,” the senator said.The Air Force has been drawing down the number of personnel in the 440th over the past two years. Its staffing has fallen below 700 airmen and civilians, down from 1,200 earlier.last_img

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