Defense
5:15 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Officials tout Illinois military base as closures loom

Credit SSGT CHAD R. GANN, USAF

The secretary of the U.S. Air Force paid a visit Tuesday to Scott Air Force Base. As Illinois Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum reports, it’s part of a push from state political leaders to safeguard the Metro East military installation.

U.S. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James spent most of Tuesday morning at Scott Air Force Base. She was joined by a slew of Illinois political leaders, including U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk.

It’s part of an aggressive effort to showcase the base as the Pentagon considers cutting military spending that could lead to layoffs at Scott Air Force Base. In uncertain times, Kirk says public officials must be vigilant.

“In my experience, the only way to win these battles is in inside the Pentagon. You make sure you offer the Pentagon what they can’t get anywhere else. We can do that.”

Durbin and Kirk say the base plays an indispensable role in monitoring military missions and training soldiers.