Congressman Steve Womack released the following quote regarding the Air Force's budget plan for fiscal the year 2013, in which the 188th Fighter Wing in Fort Smith would lose its A-10 mission.
"My first priority is to argue on behalf of the A10 mission because we know--and can prove--its cost effectiveness. That said, if the Air Force is committed to this decision, it is wise to fight for a relevant, sustainable, and state-of-the-art mission for the Fort Smith facility--like the Predator/Reaper--to mitigate the job loss to our region. I am committed to working with the Air Force and the Arkansas Military Department to ensure all possible additional force structure is pursued for Fort Smith.
"The reality is that the Defense Department is cutting nearly a half-trillion dollars over the next decade and with additional cuts looming through sequester, and the prospect for future BRACs (Base Realignment and Closure), enormous pressure is coming down on our national defense structure.
"Arkansas is not alone in this discussion. Another three dozen states are fighting for similar consideration. Against any metric, we believe we make a strong case for our situation."