By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Another round of BRAC cuts is likely to be approaching as Defense is one of the few areas of government spending which is actually declining.
While on a tour of the 117th National Guard Air Refueling Wing based in Birmingham, Congressman Spencer Bachus (R) from Vestavia said that the 117th is vital to national defense preparedness and is an important contributor to the Birmingham area economy..
U.S. Representative Bachus said, “The 117th Air Refueling Wing is of incalculable value to our country and the Birmingham region. Its ability to deploy rapidly and provide complex in-air tanker refueling services helps to give our military aircraft global coverage that enhances our homeland defense. Here at home, the Guard is always fast to respond to disasters like the tornadoes of April 2011. It is essential that we keep this important facility modernized and growing and I look forward to continuing to work with base leaders to ensure that the 117th remains an integral part of our defense network.”
The 117th Air Refueling Wing, the 117th Intelligence Squadron, and Army National Guard personnel are based at the facility which is located adjoining the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport. The Birmingham area has been important to military aviation since World War I. The 117th’s global missions have helped to safeguard Americans in the post 9/11 era.
The annual economic impact of the complex for the greater Birmingham/Hoover area has been estimated at $105.5 million.
In Congressman Bachus’s statement he said that he has worked with base and community leaders to ensure that the 117th remained in Birmingham during Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) proceedings and has secured support for new facilities including a mobility processing center and an Alert Quarters rapid deployment complex.
Rep. Bachus visited the base and received an update on its activities during a recent series of events held throughout the Sixth District.
Congressman Spencer Bachus represents the Sixth Congressional District of Alabama. Bachus has been elected to 11 terms in the U.S. Congress.