Feb 28 2015

"We've been actually working quite a bit," an aide to a Republican representative said, describing how leaders have banded together to pressure Air Force and Department of Defense leaders over the decision to inactivate the 440th.

Much of those discussions have taken place behind the scenes, the aide said.

"We're not just kicking and screaming," he said. "We've got to work out some sort of compromise."

At least two letters of support have been sent on the issue in recent weeks.

Both were addressed to Ash Carter, the new secretary of defense who, before confirmation, promised a meeting on the 440th to Tillis, North Carolina's freshman senator.

Tillis sent a letter to Carter after learning the Air Force Reserve was planning to begin helping reservists leave the 440th Airlift Wing, a move many criticized as stepping out ahead of Congress, which had required a report on C-130 movements.

But Air Force Reserve leaders said the report requirement only halted the movement of aircraft, not personnel, and plans to inactivate the 440th were moving along as planned.

A second letter, signed by all 15 members of the North Carolina delegation, was sent weeks earlier.

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