Sen. Thom Tillis is taking a new tack in the fight to keep Air Force planes at Fort Bragg.
After months of wrangling with Air Force officials, North Carolina's junior senator has introduced a new amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would require C-130 H cargo planes that have been upgraded through a modernization program to be moved to Fort Bragg.
…Tillis' latest amendment doesn't prevent the 440th from being closed, but it would create a replacement unit to which local airmen possibly could transfer.
The amendment, sponsored by Tillis, Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina and Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, would require the Air Force to station planes modified through the Avionics Modernization Program, or AMP, at Fort Bragg's Pope Field by September 2017.
…According to Tillis' amendment, the nine C-130s would be "ideal aircraft to support 18th Airborne Corps, 82nd Airborne Division and U.S. Army Special Operations Command training and contingency requirements as they would primarily provide training support to these units and not be required to deploy in the normal rotation of C-130 units."
The move would also protect the investments already made through the program, according to the amendment, which reads:
"The Air Force has expended significant funds on the AMP program of record and therefore should use due diligence to give the American taxpayer the best return on scarce funding to maximize military effectiveness."
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