Published on: Apr. 25, 2022
Appealing Air National Guard Decision to Close the Georgia Combat Readiness Training Center (CRTC)

In the FY2023 President’s Budget, the Air National Guard has provided no funding for the Georgia CRTC located at the airport. The Chamber and our community leaders have organized an aggressive appeal to get this funding restored in Congressional mark-ups of the Air Force budget.

We have garnered the support of the entire Georgia Congressional delegation led by SEN Raphael Warnock and REP Buddy Carter. Bill Hubbard, Chamber President & CEO, “said it takes roughly $5 million to pay for the operations and sustainment of the CRTC and $6.5 million to pay for the manpower. It’s puzzling the Air National Guard wants to close Savannah because it stands out as a national treasure.

The GA CRTC mission is to provide an integrated, realistic training environment for U.S. fighter aircraft to enhance their air combat capabilities and readiness. The GA CRTC distinguishes itself by being the only location with an accredited 6,000 square/foot Special Access Program Facilities (SAPF) to support 5th generation fighter aircraft (F-35, F-22). The GA CRTC is located next to airspace just off the coast of Georgia and provides unparalleled Air Force /Navy Air to Air training integration options. Townsend Bombing Range is 50 miles south and supports Air to Ground training.

In addition to Georgia, there are three other CRTCs (Volk-WI, Alpena-MI, Gulfport-MS). The ANG plans to keep the other CRTCs operational. By statistics published by the Air Force, Georgia CRTC has trained more units by volume at a far cheaper rate than the other CRTCs.

For example, in 2021 alone, CRTC hosted 2,074 aircraft sorties, expending over 2.9M gallons of jet fuel. These aircraft dropped more than 14,000 munitions on the Townsend Bombing Range in Long & McIntosh counties. To be precise, 5,934 personnel were lodged, equating to 81,324 bed nights, and the dining facility served 108,403 meals.

While this training may seem expensive, it pales in comparison to the other training center. The figure shows the average operations & sustainment costs.

Lastly, GA CRTC has over 260,000 cubic miles of full-up airspace 26 times larger than Gulfport and five times larger than Volk. This airspace allows for supersonic flying, training against electromagnetic countermeasures, use of chaff and flares.

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