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Saving Scott Air Force Base

Allison Blood/Brad Choat
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Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) speaks outside Scott Air Force Base on March 21, 2014 (KMOX/Allison Blood)

Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) speaks outside Scott Air Force Base on March 21, 2014 (KMOX/Allison Blood)

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SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (KMOX) - Members of Illinois’ Congressional delegation are calling Friday’s Metro-East meeting with the Air Force chief of staff a success.

Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) spoke with media afterwards, outside Scott Air Force Base, “This meeting (with Gen. Mark Welsh) was pre-emptive, to make sure the Air Force understands the support of Scott Air Force Base in this region, and to make sure we understand how the Air Force views the future of Scott.”

Durbin said the base has a workforce of 12,000 military and civilian personnel, making it the largest employer in the state of Illinois, south of Interstate 88.

He said looming budget cuts will likely affect every military base in the country, but the likelihood that Scott would be closed or relocated is really small.

Democratic Congressman Bill Enyart of Belleville had this reaction, “It was great not only to have Gen. Walsh here at Scott, but also to hear him say how vital the base is to our national defense. While armed forces and defense budgets are downsizing, cyber threats are more critical than ever. Scott is already on the cutting edge of defending these threats.”

Republican Congressman Rodney Davis of Taylorville added, “The Illinois delegation, both Republicans & Democrats, stand ready to work together to promote and defend Scott AFB to keep it strong and open to new missions, including the KC46A Pegasus tanker, for years to come.”

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