WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, a select House-Senate Conference Committee released the final Fiscal Year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, successfully included an amendment into the final NDAA that aims to preserve the C-130H presence at Fort Bragg’s Pope Airfield in North Carolina.
Under Tillis’ amendment, the C-130Hs cannot be removed from Fort Bragg unless the following leadership approvals indicate our national security and readiness of the global response unit will not be jeopardized:
- Consultation with Commanders of the XVIII Airborne Corps, the 82nd Airborne Division, and the United States Army Special Operations Command
- Approval of the Chief of Staff of the Army and the Secretary of the Army
- Approval of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force and the Secretary of the Air Force
Earlier this year, the Air Force delayed its plans to shutter the 440th Airlift Wing at Pope Airfield for another year, in part as a result of pressure from the North Carolina Congressional Delegation and concerns raised by Army leaders. The select House-Senate Conference Committee deemed Tillis’ amendment necessary to properly fix the Department of Defense and Air Force’s strategically flawed plan to dismantle the wing, a vital unit to our country’s Global Response Force.
“Maintaining the C-130H presence at Fort Bragg’s Pope Airfield, the busiest airfield in the world for tactical aircraft training, is not only critical to our military readiness, but to protecting our troops and all Americans,” said Senator Tillis. “In a time when our nation faces serious threats, providing opportunities to protect and strengthen our national security must be a top priority of the United States Congress. I’m beyond pleased that the FY2016 NDAA will strategically and appropriately support our men and women in uniform, giving them the resources to maintain our position as a global military leader.”