Members of the Coastal Georgia Military Affairs Coalition are meeting in Washington DC this week to discuss the Air National Guard’s recent decision to eliminate the funding for the Georgia Combat Readiness Training Center (GA CRTC). The GA CRTC and the 165th Air Lift Wing at the Air National Guard base are located at the Savannah Hilton Head International Airport.
The Coalition will meet with Georgia Congressional members and Pentagon officials to appeal budget cuts that were made to the GA CRTC, while reminding them of a few facts:
- GA CRTC is by far the most utilized and cost-effective CRTC in the nation.
- The GA center distinguishes itself by being one of the only few locations 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 has over 260,000 cubic miles of full airspace – a figure 26 times larger than Gulfport CRTC and five times larger than Volk CRTC. This airspace allows for supersonic flying, training against electromagnetic countermeasures, as well as the use of chaff and flares.
During their visit to the Pentagon, the Coalition will also meet with senior Army officials and provide them with a community update on Ft. Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield. They will take this time to also advocate for several new improvements to the facilities which will enhance Army readiness.
Members of the Coastal Georgia Military Affairs Coalition who will be in DC include:
- The Honorable Chester Ellis, Chairman of Chatham County
- The Honorable Allen Brown, Mayor of Hinesville
- The Honorable Nick Palumbo, Alderman for District 4, City of Savannah
- Colonel Pete Hoffman, U.S. Army Retired, Executive Director of the CGMAC
- Mr. Jared Downs, Vice President of Government Affairs, Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce
- Ms. Leah Poole, CEO, Liberty County Chamber of Commerce
- Mr. Chris Giorgianni – Vice President, JCB Inc., Vice Director of the CGMAC
- Mr. Kenneth K. Howard, Hinesville City Manager
- Ms. Kathryn Murph Downs, Assistant County Manager of Bryan County
- Ms. Meghan Dunn, Manager, Properties & Executive Affairs Savannah Airport Commission
Washington DC meetings scheduled with:
- U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock
- U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff
- U.S. Congressman Buddy Carter
- U.S. Congressman Austin Scott
- U.S. Congressman Sanford Bishop
- LTG James Rainey, Army G-3/5/7, and former Commanding General, 3d ID, 2015-2017
- Mr. Ivan Bolden, Chief of Army Partnerships & Chair, Joint Services Partnership Committee, Deputy Chief of Staff, G-9 (Installations)
- Mr. Devin Cate, Executive Director of the Air National Guard