Sep 30 2015

Does Fort Bragg's 440th Airlift Wing have as many lives as a cat? Maybe more? Surely the passage of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act is the 440th's seventh or eighth. The way this drama is playing out, we're hoping the 440th's chances won't stop at nine.
But while we're looking ahead, we'll feel good about today, because an amendment in the defense-funding bill, authored by Sen. Thom Tillis, prevents the Air Force from inactivating the wing without consulting commanders of the 18th Airborne Corps, the Army Special Operations Command and the 82nd Airborne Division.
For all of them, the 440th is an essential part of training and readiness, as some of its leaders told Tillis and fellow Sen. Richard Burr. In a letter to the Army chief of staff last week, Tillis and Burr said the dismantling of the 440th has already downgraded troop readiness here.
This state's entire congressional delegation has waged a tireless battle with the Air Force over the 440th's future. Kudos especially to Tillis, Burr and Rep. Renee Ellmers, who led the fight. We hope the cat has a lot more lives to live.

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