Last year the Department of Defense (DoD) proposed to downsize the reserve component of the Air Force, but Congress, always protective of local pork, resisted the cuts. If the Republicans are truly serious about eliminating waste in government spending, then here’s a couple of good places to start:
The Davis-Monthan AFB in Arizona trains professional pilots and prepares them for the eventuality of a potential war. It seems very unlikely that the U.S. is going to be involved in an air war with anybody. We certainly don’t need those reserve units. Let’s close this base. There are plenty of other bases where necessary training can take place. Sorry, John McCain.
Moody Air Force base in Georgia was the subject of a 2005 commission for base realignment and closure. It was not closed, nor forced to merge with another facility. Instead, politicians saw that it was “restructured.” Among the most famous people who trained at this base, you can count the former U.S. President George W. Bush, although it was difficult to count him during the last months of his deployment because he didn’t show up for roll call. Let’s save money and close this one. Sorry, Saxby Chambliss.
The Fort Worth, Texas, naval air base consists of the following reserve units: Naval Units; Marine Corps units; Air Force Reserve units; Air National Guard Units and the Army Reserve units. This is a reserve training facility. Let’s follow the advice of the DoD and close this base. Sorry, Rick Perry.
Robert Hale, the comptroller of DoD has said, “They [Congress] prohibited, for example, any retirement of Navy ships, which we need to do.” Let’s eliminate all unnecessary ships. Sorry, Mitt Romney.
While we’re at it, let’s eliminate wasteful duplication of services. We have a large Navy hospital in Beaufort, S.C., and another one just 70 miles away in Charleston. We don’t need both, and the one in Charleston is one of the oldest in the country. Let’s close it. Sorry, Lindsay Graham.
One of the largest U.S. military bases is in Kentucky with more than 100,000 acres, Fort Knox spreads over three different counties in the northern part of the state. It is operated by both the Marine Corps and the Army. The base is famous for the school’s preparing and training crewmen for the M1 Abrams tanks. Tanks? In 2013? You have to be kidding! Let’s get out of the business of tanks. Close the base. Sorry, Mitch McConnell.
As president and commander-in-chief, Barack Obama has the authority and the responsibility to begin closing unnecessary military bases in preparation for the fiscal cliff the Republican House of Representatives want to push us over. Paul Ryan, chair of the House Budget Committee, said on Sunday, Jan. 27, on Meet the Press, “We think these sequesters will happen because the Democrats have opposed our efforts to replace those cuts with others.”
OK, Paul, you now have an opportunity to sell the above cuts to your fellow Republicans. The ball’s in your court.
This article originally was published in Southside Pride.