Col. Robert Palmer, spokesman for Air Force Reserve Command, said the decision to delay the deactivation came because of pending legislation that is part of the National Defense Authorization Act. U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis and Ellmers have amendments in the Senate and House versions of the bill which would delay the 440th deactivation.
In the Senate version, Tillis’ amendment would require the 18th Airborne Corps, 82nd Airborne Division and U.S. Army Special Operations Command to certify the loss of the 440th would not harm training at Fort Bragg before it would be permitted to be deactivated.
A separate amendment by Tillis also would force the Air Force to move modernized C-130 aircraft to Fort Bragg for use by local units by September 2017. That amendment doesn't prevent the 440th from being closed, but it would create a replacement unit to which local airmen could possibly transfer.
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