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DEFENSE COMMUNITIES 360

Central Texas Officials Believe New Strategy Could Bolster Local Bases

  • January 9, 2012
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The new priorities for the military outlined last week by the Pentagon could herald a positive future for Dyess and Goodfellow Air Force bases, according to officials in central Texas.

The guidance calls for a stronger focus on the Asia-Pacific, a strategy that Dyess’ B-1B bomber aircraft have the capability to support. “The B-1 is one of the few airplanes that can operate on many air bases in the Pacific,” Bill Ehrie, president of the Abilene Industrial Development Foundation and a former Dyess commander, told the Abilene Reporter-News.

Similarly, the base’s C-130 transport aircraft would be needed for combat and humanitarian mobilization efforts, another key capability included in the new strategy.

Goodfellow’s strengths include joint training for all services in intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance, another area emphasized in the guidance that the Pentagon is relying on to determine how to pare $487 billion from the defense budget over the coming decade.

“I don’t see a significant negative impact on Goodfellow and the mission other than the loss of personnel,” Charlie Powell, a former wing commander at the installation, told the San Angelo Standard-Times.

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