FAIRFIELD — Community leaders trying to ensure the Air Force doesn’t scrap its KC-10 air tanker fleet plan to take their case to Air Mobility Command and the nation’s capital later this fall, depending on when some of the dust settles from the partial federal government shutdown.
“We are trying to get a meeting with AMC headquarters and also do a Washington, D.C., trip, but the government shutdown has thrown some uncertainty into the mix,” said Travis Community Consortium chairman Bud Ross.
The Travis Community Consortium, an alliance of local government and business groups that support Travis Air Force Base, spent the past few weeks battling a potential idea from the Air Force to scrap its KC-10 fleet to help deal with oncoming budget cuts brought on by automatic federal spending cuts known as sequestration.
Travis Community Consortium members are looking to head east in late October or early November, depending on the availability of AMC’s command and congressional representatives.
The Travis Community Consortium has already asked this area’s legislators to take up the issue with the Department of Defense, while Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, has sent letters to key congressional members and the secretary of Defense, according to Ross.
“We are doing everything we can. We are trying to work around what it will mean to us economically, trying to gather the figures to quantify that (impact),” Ross said.
The current political storm over the government’s partial shutdown, as well as another feared storm over the federal debt ceiling, has ensured that the Travis Community Consortium’s own message would be obscured for the time being, Ross said.
“That is making it very difficult for anyone to plan,” Ross said. “We are kind of caught up in this impasse.”
That has not stopped the consortium members from planning what they will do once the dust clears.
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