Thursday, September 08, 2005

Ford And Democrats Receive Victory In Judge's Order Regarding The 118th Airlift Wing

For weeks now Congressman Harold Ford Jr. along with the Governor and other top ranking Democrat officials, have been fighting to save the 118th Airlift Wing in Nasvhille from being closed down.

Although with little to no support coming from the other side of the aisle, it appears that Ford and the Democrats may have been able to save the 118th from demise. The excerpts below are hot off the news wire today regarding the wing and the recent court order:

"An Air National Guard unit from Nashville — one that has been ferrying supplies and soldiers to the hurricane-stricken Gulf Coast and carrying evacuees here — has a strong chance of being saved from the chopping block, according to a federal judge's order.

U.S. District Judge Robert Echols ruled yesterday that the 118th Airlift Wing will not be included in a federal commission's list of base closures.

The decision comes in the nick of time. The report of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission is due on President Bush's desk by today.

In his order, the judge said the state was able to show in last week's hearing that its residents would be harmed without the 118th, the third-oldest Air National Guard unit in the nation.

Losing its planes would leave 702 military and civilian employees without jobs, the judge said. Also, residents of the state would lose protection that the unit could offer in times of natural disasters and terrorist attacks.

Those interests outweigh the government's argument that closing the unit is projected to save $120 million over 10 years, the judge said.

The 118th, which has eight huge C-130 cargo planes, was formed during World War I and most recently served in both Afghanistan and Iraq. It makes its home in a new, multimillion-dollar facility at Berry Field at Nashville International Airport."

Read Congressman Ford's comments on BRAC from a couple of weeks ago here!

Source: The Tennesseean