F-15E Strike Eagle divestment procedure under sunlight

Before divesting the F-15E Strike Eagle at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina, the Air Force and the Department of Defense must generate reports and research contracts that outline the associated risks.

The House Armed Services Committee markup of the National Defense Authorization Act has successfully secured funding for various projects, including a Combat Arms Training & Maintenance Complex at the base. This amendment, along with 16 others, was passed by the panel with a vote of 56-1.

U.S. Representative Don Davis, a dedicated advocate for the Goldsboro base and the Wayne County economy, expressed his unwavering support for the brave men and women of the U.S. Air Force. Being a veteran himself, he understands the sacrifices they make to protect the American people and their families. He emphasized the importance of ensuring that our military is prepared to confront any threat in today’s increasingly perilous world.

Davis’ district, located in the northeastern part of the state, is home to a significant number of active-duty personnel and veterans, with nearly 10,000 and 46,000 respectively. U.S. Senator Ted Budd, a Republican from North Carolina, has been at the forefront of the effort to protect the approximately 520 jobs at the base.

Davis serves on the Committee on Armed Services, as well as two of its subcommittees: Military Personnel and Readiness. Budd, on the other hand, is a member of the Committee on Armed Services and actively participates in three of its subcommittees: Cybersecurity, Emerging Threats and Capabilities, and Personnel.

According to Davis, the provision mandates that the Secretary of the Air Force, in collaboration with the Secretary of Defense, must engage in contractual agreements and assess the potential risks associated with divesting F-15E aircraft. Davis stated that after the submission of the report, a waiting period of 180 days must be observed before any divestment takes place.

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According to the Snow Hill congressman, this new provision will ensure that the Air Force becomes more transparent and accountable to both the people of Wayne County and to Congress.

In April, Senator Budd, a junior senator for the state, expressed his concerns during a discussion with General Charles C.Q. Brown, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The senator questioned Gen. Brown about the capabilities of the F-15E Strike Eagles, and Gen. Brown confirmed that they are unparalleled in both air-to-ground and air-to-air combat.

Last week, Davis asserted that they are not passively observing the potential 520-job reduction at Seymour Johnson, which poses a threat to the economy of eastern North Carolina. Davis pledged to vehemently advocate for the retention of all four squadrons in Wayne County, emphasizing the importance of maintaining economic stability in the region. According to Davis, safeguarding national security and preserving employment opportunities can go hand in hand, and it is crucial for the Air Force to acknowledge this reality.

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