Texoma small business owners are still trying to put pieces of the Affordable Care Act puzzle together. Today they got some of those questions answered by 13th District Congressman Mac Thornberry at a breakfast sponsored by the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce and the Sheppard Military Affairs Committee.
SMAC officials hold an event where community leaders can thank Sheppard AFB for what they do everyday.
The Department of Defense has submitted its budget request to Congress ...
And the proposal includes asking Congress to approve another round of Base Realignment and Closures -- or BRAC.
Katie Crosbie joins us now -- and Katie, we know the last BRAC in 2005 had a huge impact on Sheppard.
It sure did, Darrell ...
The last BRAC cuts moved the medical group to San Antonio -- meaning Sheppard lost about 400 instructors and seven thousand students annually.
That's why many members of the Sheppard Military Affairs Committee -- or SMAC -- say they're concerned about this possibility.
During the next seven years, Sheppard Air Force Base will see an influx of about four thousand airmen from Saudi Arabia.
Katie Crosbie has more on this boost to the local economy.
Gwyn, it's part of the largest foreign military sales deal in America's history ... a 29 point four *billion* dollar agreement.
The Royal Saudi Air Force will purchase about 84 F-15 jets from the United States, and will send airmen to U.S. training bases to learn jet maintenance.
General Darryl Burke, who is commander of the 82nd Training Wing, says at any given time, there will be between 200 and 400 Saudi students on base.
He says it's an exciting partnership -- and points out that the Air Force has been training Saudis on the F-15 for about 25 years.
When Congressman Mac Thornberry visited Wichita Falls yesterday to brief
the Sheppard Military Affairs Committee, he discussed the increasing
threat of cyber attacks.
He told the committee the world is moving fast ... But laws and policies in America are not keeping up.
He also said if terrorists are able to launch cyber attacks against U.S. cities or the U.S. military ... there could be devastating consequences.
We've heard speculation about how budget cuts will impact the military -- and, specifically, Sheppard Air Force Base.
And this afternoon, 13th District Congressman Mac Thornberry addressed the Sheppard Military Affairs Committee to share his thoughts.
Katie Crosbie was there and joins us now with more.
Darrell, it was an hour-long meeting that covered a wide range of security concerns, defense strategies, and the federal budget.
Congressman Thornberry said Congress has spent more than 200 million dollars in construction projects at Sheppard during the past ten years ...
He says it will become more difficult to find that kind of funding with a tighter budget.
And Rep. Thornberry said he's worried that this administration is putting less of an emphasis on NATO.
Sheppard's 82nd Training Wing Commander, General Darryl Burke, said he's confident that Sheppard will be able to withstand any cuts without hurting the mission.
Both pointed to ENJJPT (Euro-Nato Joint Jet Pilot Training Program)'s importance - now, more than ever.