Sheppard Spotlight - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Sheppard Spotlight

National, state and local government leaders were all present at today's legislative luncheon hosted by the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce.

U.S. Senator John Cornyn served as the keynote speaker for the luncheon. The senator discussed many national issues and how they related to the local Texoman region. While issues like energy independence, job creation and healthcare were all mentioned; national defense was a topic Cornyn focused on.
"Well the most important thing our federal government does is to keep our country and our people safe," said Cornyn, "Were talking about the roll of the United States Military, and that's why what's happening here at Sheppard is so important to not only to this area, but to the country."  

Vice Chair of the House Armed Services Committee Mac Thornberry who said both he and Senator Cornyn would be visiting Sheppard Air Force Base. Both the senator and congressman said they were very interested to get an update and hands on look at what's happening within SAFB. Thornberry said the recent passage of the defense budget was key to discussing the future possibilities at SAFB with both airmen and women.

"We have some stable funding for the military, so that gives the leaders at Sheppard a chance to make plans over the next several months, and the rest of the fiscal year really. I think that's a better situation than it's been, because of the budget that has been passed just within the past week in Washington," said Thornberry, "That's a starting place, but than we will always want to look to the future. What more can Sheppard do? How are we going to make sure the things we do well are recognized around the military?"

Mayor Glenn Barham realizes the senator and congressman  visit is important not just to national defense and SAFB, but to the city of Wichita Falls.

"It's 25% of our economy here in Wichita Falls," said Barham, "So if Sheppard were to leave, our economy would drop 25%, it would be devastating. So his support of Sheppard Air Force Base is vital and is crucial to us."

"This is part of a larger picture in terms of our national security forces. Every part of the country has an interest in that and every member of congress does. This is something we do together on a bipartisan basis."

Who says that congress and the senate can't find something to agree on?

Jack Carney

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