FAIRFIELD — Recent cuts to Travis Air Force Base manpower and the possibility of more military cuts to come has the Travis Community Consortium looking forward to 2012 as a year when it pushes as hard as possible to keep the base and its missions intact.
The Consortium, an alliance of local governments, spent its last meeting of 2011 Tuesday examining a strategy to preserve current base missions, strengthen base joint ventures with organizations such as UC Davis, seek green programs to reduce base energy consumption and make Travis as attractive as possible for new missions.
Madison Government Affairs, the Consortium’s advising lobbyist, pointed out that while Travis Air Force Base has already taken a hit, it was not a big one.
Early this month, the Air Force announced the base was eliminating 58 civilian positions and 35 active-duty positions, mainly from support services on base.
There are also plans to inactivate the 15th Expeditionary Mobility Task Force headquarters and the 615th Contingency Response Wing headquarters in 2012.
This was part of an Air Force-wide move to eliminate approximately 9,000 positions throughout the service while adding 5,900 positions in areas it considers high priorities. Air Mobility Command’s portion of the cuts was 657 civilian positions.
The recent failure of Congress budget supercommittee to reach an agreement means the Department of Defense faces $600 billion in cuts over the next 10 years.
Madison representatives pointed out while this is a time of great angst, it’s also a time of great opportunity for the base and its supporters.
There is $22 million in the President’s 2012 budget to build a 144-room dormitory on base, which has so far sailed smoothly through the federal budget process.
The Air Force is also looking to replace 179 of its aging KC-135 air tankers with Boeing KC-46 air tankers.
Given the availability of ramp space at Travis, Madison representatives noted that if the Consortium did the same lobbying it did to get the C-17 at Travis, some of the KC-46s may find a home at Travis.