• Thu. Jun 23rd, 2022

Panel rejects plans to close Georgia pilot training center

ByDebra J. Aguilar

Jun 21, 2022

A congressional subcommittee has rejected the Biden administration’s proposal to shut down a training center for military pilots in Georgia.

U.S. Representative Buddy Carter said Monday that the decision by the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee was a big step toward keeping the Combat Readiness Training Center open in Savannah. Operated by the Air National Guard, the center conducts air-to-air combat training missions for active duty reservists and fighter pilots.

“This is a major victory for the First District, our military service members and national security,” Carter, a Republican whose district includes Savannah, said in a statement.

Carter warned that the fight was not over. The fiscal year 2023 budget still needs to be approved by the House Appropriations Committee and the full House before moving to the Senate for consideration.

Carter is part of a bipartisan group of Georgia lawmakers fighting a White House proposal to eliminate funding for the center. Led by Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, the five Georgia lawmakers last month sent a letter to congressional budget editors asking for $11.5 million to keep the Savannah facility open.

The Air National Guard operates three similar U.S. pilot training centers and said they could absorb training functions from the Georgia facility. They are located in Gulfport, Mississippi; Alpena, Michigan; and Camp Douglas, Wisconsin.