Video: The Spending Bill: What It means to CAFB
COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)- The Bipartisan compromise for the spending bill is a sigh of relief for many personnel like ones here at Columbus Air Force Base.
” Certainly the omnibus bill has gone through the House and now goes to the Senate for passage, hopefully in the next 3 days is critical to provide both the support that our military needs as they go forward into next years budget,” said Retired General Gary North with the U.S. Air Force.
The bill will fund government agencies through September. It’s a better agreement than last year’s but leaders believe the effects from sequestration still linger.
“The sequestration piece is not just a temporary thing. It’s something that our senior leaders have to manage throughout the next decade,” said North.
Leaders at the Air Force Base say despite major cuts, they were able to stay afloat.
” We’ve been very fortunate at Columbus Air Force Base, particularly with the challenges in 2013. we still produced 409 pilots in 2013 and for 2014 we’re scheduled for about the same amount of aviator production here for our pilot training and our introduction to fighter fundamental programs,” said Col Jim Sears, Wing Commander with Columbus Air Force Base.
They hope to continue that trend this year.
” We’re having to make sure that we spend every dollar wisely but we should be doing that for America anyway and that’s one of our secretary’s priorities and we’re going to continue to do that going forward, said Col. Jim Sears.
Even with a budget deal, thousands of job reductions are coming to the Air Force and other branches of the military. The Pentagon has been encouraging early departures for some airmen and civilian workers.
Leaders here at Columbus aren’t talking publicly about how that’s impacting operations here.