InsiderAdvantage: Georgia’s Combat Readiness Training Center Off the Chopping Block for Now

Cindy Morley

Thursday, June 23rd, 2022

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Georgia Congressman Buddy Carter (R-GA-01) has been fighting for months to keep Savannah’s Combat Readiness Training Center (CRTC) off the chopping block. Yesterday he announced that the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee released a report denying the Biden Administration’s FY2023 budget request to close the center. Carter has been disputing the Air Force’s assessment that the center was underutilized.

“This is a major win for the First District, our military service members, and national security. The fight is not over, but this proves what Georgians already knew: the Savannah CRTC is an indispensable piece of the Air Force’s fighter pilot training,” said Carter.

While the report signals broad support for keeping the center open, the package still requires a full House Appropriations Committee vote before advancing to the House and Senate for final passage.

“Our world-class military service members deserve world-class resources and training. They get that at the Savannah CRTC,” said Carter.

In a recent op-ed, Carter and Congressman Sanford Bishop (D-GA-02) talked about the importance of the CRTC.

“The Savannah Combat Readiness Training Center (CRTC) is the most efficient and heavily-utilized Air Force pilot training center in the country,” they wrote. “Closing it, as the Air Force’s FY 2023 budget proposes, would be short-sighted. Doing so walks away from a military facility with a proven track record of excellence. It also risks undermining our military readiness at a time when Russia and China are flexing their military might in ways that threaten our partners and allies.”

According to Carter, the Air Dominance Center, which houses the CRTC, prepares pilots for combat through practice flights and training. “Programs like these are crucial for maintaining our military’s ability to quickly respond to threats, referred to as ‘combat readiness.’”

Recently, InsiderAdvantage reported that Carter and Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) spoke out against the plans to close the CRTC.

“Biden said show me your budget and I’ll tell you what you value; clearly, he doesn’t value our defense,” said Carter. “Coastal Georgia has every branch of the military. Savannah has the most efficient CRTC in the country. Savannah makes you ready for everything.”

“The Biden Budget is throwing away a $24 million investment, that still has a crane on it, like it’s pocket change. Meanwhile, taxpayers on the hook to pay for it,” Carter said, referencing the Department of Defense’s allocation of $24 million to the Savannah CRTC to build the new airplane hangar. “With all due respect for President Biden, our military was caught off guard by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Instead of learning from that, he is hamstringing our defense readiness and killing jobs. I will continue advocating for the Savannah CRTC. This is the beginning, not the end.”

Also in May, members of the Georgia delegation sent a letter to members of the House and Senate appropriations subcommittees that oversee defense budgets to request $11.5 million to keep open the CRTC open.