Moody spared from BRAC list - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Moody spared from BRAC list

Lowndes County - "Moody Air Force Base is not on the Base Realignment and Closure list," said Mayor John Fretti.

They're the words people in Lowndes County have been praying to hear. "It's a tremendous win for the Valdosta community," said Fretti.

Not only did the Department of Defense recommend that Moody stay open, it's also set for expansion. The base will get about 50 A-10 aircraft from Pope and Eielson Air Force Bases. It will also establish a maintenance facility for TF-34's, the engines of the A-10's.

Base commander Col. Joe Callahan says this realignment is key in U.S. defense. "A-10's and HH-60's haven't worked together in decades and having them co-locate at the same base will improve our ability to train for the mission overseas," said Callahan.

The D.O.D. also recommended that Moody's air education and training command, including all of its T-6 and T-38 aircraft, be moved to other training bases around the country. But with the expansion projects, the base will still see a net gain of 575 military and civilian jobs. "Each person that adds to that base is a tiny economic engine that we can use in our community," said Fretti.

Community leaders have been working to save Moody since the last round of BRAC, and they're not surprised that their hard work paid off. "Moody's in a prime position in South Georgia, plenty of land, airspace, ranges, really anything you need for any kind of Air Force training," said Casey.

"We're close to the coast, we're readily deployable, you can train folks inland but they have to be readily deployable," said Fretti.

The realignment is expected to bring a big economic boost to this area, but more importantly, it will help the airmen be better prepared to defend this country.

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