Hosts first annual Robins Air Force Base Congressional breakfast to promote military, economic value of base
U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and David Perdue, R-Ga., along with U.S. Representatives Austin Scott, R-Ga.-08, and Sanford Bishop, D-Ga.-02, today reaffirmed their commitment to serving Robins Air Force Base at the first annual Robins Air Force Base Congressional breakfast.
The Georgia Congressional delegation members were joined at the Washington, D.C., event by leaders of Robins Air Force Base and the surrounding communities to discuss both the military and economic value of Robins Air Force Base to Georgia and our national defense. Keynote remarks were delivered by former U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss.
“Robins Air Force Base is what every community would like to have. It’s something we’ve got to make sure we protect,” said Isakson at the breakfast. “You’ve got a $1.3 billion dollar payroll, 21,000 employees and $2.75 billion dollars in economic impact. There are a lot of reasons to brag about Robins Air Force Base but none more important than to realize this is one of the crown jewels in our state. I’m committed to Robins Air Force Base and Middle Georgia.”
“We are fortunate to have some of our nation’s best and brightest headquartered in Georgia at Robins Air Force Base,” said Senator Perdue. “For decades, Robins has been a critical part of the Middle Georgia community and our state’s military family. As a member of the Budget Committee and a Warner Robins native, I am committed to making sure Robins and our Georgia military bases have what they need to compete. Washington’s lack of fiscal constraint has led to $19 trillion in debt and this has directly impacted our ability to adequately fund our military and support their missions. Our military leaders should have the resources they need to successfully combat global threats, and I continue to fight to advance their needs.”
“Robins Air Force Base is an essential component to our national defense and the economic engine of middle Georgia,” said Congressman Austin Scott, member of the House Armed Services Committee. “Strong support from the community is essential to the longevity of Robins. As the House Armed Services Committee marks up the National Defense Authorization Act today, it is an honor to meet with these committed leaders of the greater Robins AFB community in Washington to discuss how we can work together towards promoting and protecting this base.”
“A critical facet of our nation’s defense structure and a valuable economic partner within Middle Georgia, Robins Air Force base is irreplaceable in many ways” said Congressman Sanford Bishop. “The tenant units of Robins Air Force Base lend real value to the Air Force’s missions at home and abroad and are well placed and well suited for adaptable economic growth—a critical point highlighted today by leaders within the Robins AFB community.”
More than 50 participants were in attendance at the breakfast, including Colonel Jeff King, Installation and 78th Air Base Wing commander at Robins Air Force Base, Lieutenant General Lee Levy, Air Force Sustainment Center Commander at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City, Okla., Brigadier General Joseph Jarrard, Georgia Department of Defense Adjutant General, Warner Robins Mayor Randy Toms, Centerville Mayor John Harley, as well as representatives from Robins Regional Chamber, the Houston County Commission and 21st Century Partnership. A full list of attendees is available here.
Today’s meeting follows a series of Georgia- and D.C.-based meetings with the Georgia Congressional delegation and senior Pentagon officials from each of the branches of the armed services to discuss the importance of Georgia-based equities and assets and the critical roles each play in our national defense.
Home to the Air Force Reserve Command, the 78th Air Base Wing and the fleet of Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS), Robins Air Force Base plays a vital role in our national defense, providing support to all branches of the military throughout the world. Through its leadership in defense technology research and development at the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, Robins Air Force Base serves as a critical backbone to the entire Department of Defense.
In addition, Robins Air Force Base employs over 21,000 and contributes over $2.75 billion to the Georgia economy annually. Robins Air Force Base and its community partners have focused on education in Middle Georgia to help shape Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) development throughout Georgia and the country.
In December 2015, Isakson and Perdue wrote to U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter requesting that funding for the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) be protected in the fiscal year 2017 defense budget request.