Some issues in Congress rise above partisanship, and Sen. Thom Tillis knows it. Barely a month into his first term, he has picked up his Democratic predecessor's fight to save the 440th Airlift Wing at Pope Field.
Tillis has a seat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and at hearings to grill new Defense Secretary Ashton Carter last week, he secured a promise of a meeting to discuss Air Force plans to inactivate Fort Bragg's only resident airlift unit.
They'd better have that meeting soon, because the Air Force is bleeding the 440th dry, despite assurances of funding through March. The unit has already lost about 200 airmen, which has led to a 35 to 40 percent cut in flight operations. Loss of the wing is a $77 million blow to this region.
Tillis has had talks about the 440th with the Armed Services chairman, Sen. John McCain, and with the staff of Sen. Jack Reed, the ranking Democrat on Armed Services and a veteran of the 82nd Airborne.
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