07.25.18

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Defense Bill Includes Key Items For Robins Air Force Base

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Middle Georgia leaders and defense experts are praising the final FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act, which provides continuity and certainty for JSTARS for the next 10 years, accelerates the development of the Advanced Battle Management System, and names Robins Air Force Base as the host base for this new platform for decades to come. 

Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson: "We will safely maintain JSTARS as we transition the U.S. Air Force and Robins Air Force Base to the future with Advanced Battle Management. Thanks to Congress for your thoughtful leadership."

Major General Arnold L. Punaro (USMC, Retired), former Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee under then-Senator Sam Nunn (D-GA): “As someone who grew up in Middle Georgia and spent 24 years working for Senator Sam Nunn as the Staff Director of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I spent considerable time with him and the Georgia delegation ensuring the long-term future of Robins Air Logistics Depot. I am extremely pleased with the results in this year’s defense bill as it relates to the crucial JSTARS mission. For decades, the Georgia delegation has successfully fought to ensure that Robins continues to have important operational missions at the base, from the B-52s to the B-1s to the JSTARS. Senator Perdue has led the fight, and the defense conference has both preserved this critical current JSTARS capability for our warfighters in the near-term, while allowing the Air Force to develop new capabilities for the future. This is a win for our warfighters and for the continued viability of an operational mission at Robins, which is so critical when the pressures for base closures and realignments continue. In my view, Senator Perdue has prevailed against substantial odds with this highly successful result.”

U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) (former Specialist, U.S. Army), Acting Chairman of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee: “This year’s NDAA puts a strong focus on modernizing our military to respond to the growing threats we face around the world. Safely maintaining the JSTARS program while developing the next generation of capabilities best serves the needs of the U.S. Air Force. I want to especially thank Senator Perdue for his input and leadership on this issue throughout the conference process.”

U.S. Representative Steve Womack (R-AR-3) (Colonel, ARNG, Retired), Member of the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee on Defense: “As a 30-year veteran of the Arkansas Army National Guard and the representative for Ebbing Air Force Base in Fort Smith, I believe finding both short- and long-term solutions for the military’s battle management needs is an absolute necessity. I also understand the importance of sustaining our military communities. Ensuring the continued operation of the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) platform while the Air Force develops the Advanced Battle Management System does both and is good for our warfighters and the communities that support them. I believe the path forward crafted by the NDAA Conference Committee is what’s best for our country and her defenders.” 

Georgia State Senator Larry Walker III (R-Perry): “I attended a meeting last year in which Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson talked about JSTARS, and it’s clear we will soon need new technologies to counter the threats we face around the world. That’s why I’m grateful Senator Perdue has secured Robins as the host base for the Advanced Battle Management System, while keeping JSTARS planes online for the next decade. With this additional mission, Robins will work alongside the Cyber Center in Augusta to combat cyber threats and equip our men and women in uniform with the tools they need in battle. Under this plan, Georgia will continue to be the nation’s cybersecurity capital, and Robins will be strong for years to come.”

Georgia State Representative Bubber Epps (R-Dry Branch):The solution Senator Perdue secured is good for Robins Air Force Base and good for the Middle Georgia community. It guarantees a flying mission at Robins for the next decade and brings the ABMS online sooner. It ensures the long-term viability of Robins and avoids a capabilities gap. It is the best way forward for the base, our community, and the entire military.”

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Senator Perdue is the only Fortune 500 CEO in Congress and is serving his first term in the United States Senate, where he represents Georgia on the Armed Services, Banking, Budget, and Agriculture Committees.