Mar 25 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R-NC-02) today met with Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James to discuss the future of the 440th Airlift Wing at Pope Airfield.

Senator Tillis issued the following statement in response to the meeting with Secretary James:

“After meeting with Secretary James today, the questions I have been asking for months regarding the Air Force’s short-sighted plans to deactivate the 440th Air Wing remain unanswered.

“The Air Force continues to state that removing airmen from the 440th does not constitute an attempt to shutter the air wing, despite the fact that C-130s cannot be flown without pilots and maintainers.  Additionally, the Secretary of the Air Force has not yet provided the metrics and policy rationale underlying the Air Force’s decision regarding Pope Airfield.

“I will continue to require Air Force leaders to be more transparent with the public and Congress regarding their decision-making, and hold them accountable for decisions that lack a strategic justification or violate the spirit of last year’s NDAA, which mandates that Congress be informed before the Air Force acts to close the 440th.”