Keep Savannah Combat Readiness Training Center Open

Representatives. Buddy Carter and Sanford D. Bishop, Jr.

Representative Buddy Carter is the United States Representative for Georgia’s 1st Congressional District.

Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. is the United States Representative for Georgia’s 2nd Congressional District.

The Savannah Combat Readiness Training Center (CRTC) is the nation’s most efficient and widely used Air Force pilot training facility. Closing it, as the Air Force’s fiscal year 2023 budget proposes, would be short-sighted. By doing so, you are stepping away from a military installation that has a proven track record of excellence. It also risks undermining our military preparedness at a time when Russia and China are deploying their military might in ways that threaten our partners and allies.

The Air Dominance Center, home to the CRTC, prepares pilots for combat through training flights and drills. Programs like these are crucial to maintaining our military’s ability to respond quickly to threats, known as “combat readiness”.

Learn more about the CRTC:Buddy Carter and Raphael Warnock Agree Closing Savannah’s Air Dominance Center Is a Bad Idea

More information on the potential closure:Closure of Savannah Air National Guard Training Center is ‘ridiculous’

Placing one of the country’s four CRTCs in Savannah was a strategic decision. Not only can the center host 5th generation aircraft, but it is also home to the highest concentration of 5th generation fighter pilots in the world. That is why, since last year, all F-22 pilots in the country have trained at this facility. Combined with year-round warmth and proximity to Tybee Island, no other location can replicate the high quality training offered in Savannah.

Each branch of the military has a base on the Georgia coast, which is why this location is ideal for a program that serves the Air National Guard, Army National Guard, Air Force, Command of the Air Force Reserve and Joint Force.

The Air Force’s proposal to close the Savannah CRTC contradicts its recent peak investments in the facility and its mission.

A $24 million state-of-the-art aircraft hangar, designed to support pilot training — and approved in 2019 — is nearing completion at the Air Dominance Center. $24 million is not small change. This money came from hard-working taxpayers – single parents, truckers, teachers and union workers.

The $42 million hangar is still under construction on the Savannah Air National Guard Base amid calls for the training facility to be closed by the Biden administration.

Last month, the center was equipped with $1.2 million in new technology that is not available anywhere else in the country.

In September, a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held to celebrate the completion of the hangar.

However, if the Air Force closes CRTC Savannah next April, that hangar will likely be relegated to housing reliable, but less complex aircraft like the C-130, which cannot make full use of the technology. cutting edge that the newly completed 5th generation aircraft hangar can provide.

These recent Department of Defense expansion projects reaffirm that the pilot training opportunities offered by CRTC Savannah are invaluable to the Air Force. The US military’s ability to conduct realistic, live training sets us apart from our adversaries. Russia’s tactical incompetence in Ukraine shows us how disastrous it can be if a nation does not properly prepare its fighters.

As members of Congress, we recognize that budgets have limits and that tough decisions must be made to protect our country’s bottom line. This is exactly why the Savannah CRTC must remain open, as it provides the highest quality and most cost-effective training, even though it flies more than any of the other three CRTC locations.

Our air force is in a worrying position – its fleet of aircraft is aging, flight hours per plane are down and planes are increasingly unavailable to fly.

Rep.  American Buddy Carter

With Russia’s military aggression in Europe and China’s increased engagement in Asia and the Pacific, we cannot compromise the combat readiness of our military. While we all hope and expect that no American troops will be called in to promote peace abroad, we must be ready if that happens. The closure of this center threatens this preparation.

U.S. Representative Sanford D. Bishop, Jr.

Our world-class fighters deserve world-class training. The Savannah CRTC is where this training is taking place and where it should stay.

Milton S. Rodgers