Until recently, the General Assembly’s new congressional district map had 8th District congressman Austin Scott picking up a second major Air Force base.
His district already includes Robins. Under an earlier version of the new district map, Moody Air Force Base near Valdosta became a part of Scott’s district.
According to media reports, that brought objections from 1st District congressman Jack Kingston, who had been representing Moody. He argued that with the potential of another base realignment and closure commission, continuity should be maintained.
State legislators then altered the map to put the Moody part of Lowndes County back into Kingston’s district.
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That map has been approved by the House and Senate and is now awaiting the governor’s signature.
How to save a base
If you’ve ever wondered why Robins boosters are always talking about how community support is important, retired Maj. Gen. Rick Goddard gave an example last week.
While speaking at the second annual Robins Region Progress Report, which focuses on base issues, he talked about how supporters of Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., saved the base from the brink of closure. The BRAC commission designated the base for closure, and in a rare move, the decision was reversed.
The reason, Goddard said, is that the community banded together, did its homework and was able to successfully argue the Air Force underestimated the military value of Cannon. The commission agreed.
“That base is now wide open and thriving,” Goddard said. “That’s how important a military community can be when you are really under the gun.”
Goddard is the former commander of the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, and he was also once the commander of Cannon. He is now an adviser to the 21st Century Partnership.
F-22 grounding may be lifted
Citing unnamed sources, the Air Force Times reported Wednesday that the Air Force is planning to lift the grounding of its F-22 Raptor fleet.
The Air Force has not, however, determined what went wrong with the advanced fighter’s oxygen system, the story stated. A source told the Times the Air Force believes the problem has been “mitigated” enough to fly while it continues to investigate.
The aircraft were grounded after some pilots began showing symptoms of hypoxia while flying. Robins does work on F-22 avionics.
Missing Air Force pilot’s remains identified
Air Force Maj. Thomas E. Reitmann, a pilot missing in action for 45 years after being shot down during the Vietnam War, is finally back home.
The Air Force announced Thursday it had positively identified his remains. He will be buried Thursday in Arlington National Cemetery, according to an Air Force release.
The Minnesota native was flying an F-105D in a strike mission in 1965 when he came under heavy fire from anti-aircraft artillery. He crashed into the Lang Son Province, North Vietnam. Other pilots flying with him never saw a parachute deploy, and no emergency signal was detected. A search and rescue team was never able to survey the sight because of the heavy artillery fire.
In 2009 and 2011, according to the release, a farmer turned over remains he said he found in his field. DNA testing showed the remains to Reitmann’s.
To find out more about the Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office and its efforts to find missing Americans, visit www.dtic.mil/dpmo.
To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.