SAVANNAH, Ga. — A congressional subcommittee has rejected the Biden administration’s proposal to close a training center for military pilots in Georgia.
U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter said Monday the decision by the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee is a big step toward keeping open the Combat Readiness Training Center in Savannah. Run by the Air National Guard, the center conducts air-to-air combat training missions for reservist and active-duty fighter pilots.
“This is a major win for the First District, our military service members, and national security,” Carter, a Republican whose district includes Savannah, said in a statement.
Carter cautioned the fight isn’t over. The fiscal 2023 budget still requires approval by the House Appropriations Committee and the full House before moving to the Senate for its consideration.
Carter is among a bipartisan group of Georgia lawmakers that has been fighting a White House proposal to eliminate funding for the center. Led by Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, the five Georgia legislators sent a letter to congressional budget writers last month seeking $11.5 million to keep the Savannah facility open.
The Air National Guard operates three similar U.S. pilot training centers and has said they could absorb the Georgia facility’s training functions. They are located in in Gulfport, Mississippi; Alpena, Michigan; and Camp Douglas, Wisconsin.