U.S. Senator visits RAFB on a statewide base tour

WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson is visiying military bases across the state to get updates and find out their needs. He was at Robins Air Force Base on Thursday. 

Congressmen Tom Graves, Sanford Bishop and Austin Scott joined Senator Isakson. They talked with base command, the JSTARS Wing, and the 21st Century Partnership and Robins Command Team. After their visit, Bishop and Isakson agreed: Downsizing is not the answer. 

“The military is having to make cuts that it doesn’t want to make,” says Senator Isakson.

Senator Isakson explains this is because of sequestration that started in 2011.

“It was a poison pill that none of us thought we’d take, but, unfortunately, some people were willing to take,” adds  Senator Isakson.

It’s affecting every branch of the U.S. military.

“There’s a downsizing that’s coming from our army. Down to 450,000 as we speak,” continues Senator Isakson.

Senator Isakson and Congressman Bishop said they will fight to stop downsizing.

“It should be painfully obvious that we can not afford to reduce the size of our fighting force,” expresses Congressman Bishop.

The cuts have caused the military to scale back on weapon systems. That’s why Isakson refers to Robins Air Force Base as a great insurance policy.

“The ALC’s are keeping out aging weapon systems flying and working. That’s the good news,” Senator Isakson tells 41NBC.

Senator Isakson doesn’t believe base realignments and closures, or BRAC, will be an issue again until 2017 at the earliest.

“With a new president and a new congress. Nothing will happen before then and I doubt it will happen that fast,” says  Senator Isakson.

The group also visited Ft. Benning in Columbus on Thursday.

The federal lawmakers plan to visit Ft. Gordon in Augusta and Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta on Friday.

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