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DEFENSE COMMUNITIES 360

Abilene Officials Focus on Dyess AFB’s Future

  • November 13, 2011
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With the Pentagon urgently looking for ways to save hundreds of billions of dollars in the coming years, officials in Abilene are taking steps to preserve Dyess Air Force Base’s B-1B bomber and C-130 transport aircraft missions.

“We are obviously preparing for the next round,” Mike McMahan, president of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce, told the Abilene Reporter-News. “But we started that the day after the last round settled.”

All defense communities need to consider the possibility that their installation could be downsized, said Bill Ehrie, a member of the chamber’s military affairs committee, and, like McMahan, a former Dyess commander.

“They should be taking a proactive stance to understand what’s going on and to be engaged as they can in the dialogue,” Ehrie told the paper.

Now the chamber is supporting the central Texas base by making sure it is efficient for the Air Force to operate, ensuring its airspace is protected and supporting its personnel.

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