Trump administration's budget plan could help Texoma and Sheppard AFB

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - President Donald Trump's administration looked to combat terrorism when it proposed a $54 billion dollar increase in defense spending.

Some of that money in the proposed budget plan released last week would go to the Air Force, including Sheppard.

The Trump administration said the Air Force "is the smallest it has been in history, to combat complex terrorist threats.'

The money would go to investments in maintenance capacity, training systems and more F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.

Colonel Donald Jolly, Sheppard AFB new 82nd Training Wing Commander, said they have to prepare for the investment increase in Air Force training.

Sheppard has already gone through some increase over the last couple of years so I expect we see another increase in the pipeline,” Col. Jolly said.

That increase could help in adding pilots something the Trump administration said the current military lacked.
Part of that is with the maintenance training, ensuring that we have enough maintainers especially as we bring on the 5th gen fighters with the F-35," Col. Jolly said.
Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom said, “you can’t fly an aircraft with someone that doesn’t maintain them.”
Judge Gossom said the increase in air force training could help Wichita Falls financially.

They're raising the strength of the Air Force that's positive for us,” Judge Gossom said. “It could mean additional mission training here in Sheppard Air Force Base which always looks good to our economy."

In order to pay for the military budget increase, President Trump's plan would cut funding to federal agencies like the EPA and funding in foreign aid.
Several Congressman criticized the budget plan for those cuts but Congressman Mac Thornberry (R) said he would like to see more money invested in the military.
“We're going to have more students coming through Sheppard,” Rep. Thornberry said. “Everyone agrees we don't have enough pilots and we don't have enough maintainers in the air force.
“So, we're going to see more folks coming into Sheppard getting the training they need and that our country needs them to have."

Rep. Thornberry said he expects changes to the budget plan as it makes its way through Congress.

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