Congressman Mac Thornberry was in Wichita Falls at a meeting today of the Sheppard Military Affairs Committee (SMAC). He, along with Congressman Tom Cole of Oklahoma, spoke on national security and the future of missions at Sheppard Air Force Base in uncertain financial times.
Since 2010, defense spending in the United States has been cut by a staggering 21%.
The budget at Sheppard Air Force Base has remained relatively unaffected by cuts because of the importance of the Base's international training program.
"They have to have a place to come train, they have to be trained by people that understand, explained Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK), "so that's frankly why you haven't absorbed the same level of cuts because the missions you have here are extremely important and have been carried out extremely successfully for a long period of time."
Danny Cremeens, the representative of SMAC, said that this meeting was unlike any other.
"It's the first time we've had a representative from Oklahoma come down and and discuss the symbiotic relationship that Sheppard has with southern Oklahoma," said Cremeens.
Cremeens said that his job is to increase the military value of Sheppard Air Force Base by having a strong relationship with the community, as well as making those who make decisions aware of the strengths of the base.
Even in the face of budget cuts and the planned resumption of the sequester in 2016, Congressman Thornberry (R-TX) thinks that Sheppard Air Force Base is well positioned, but cautions that, "It's going to hurt everyone in the military and the whole country if we allow more cuts on top of the 21 percent that we've already seen."