By Emily Bregel
March 10, 2016
As Davis-Monthan Air Force Base faces dual threats of cuts to its primary mission – its fleet of A-10 close-air support jets – and the specter of base closures nationally, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said its’future is bright.’
‘I couldn’t be more impressed with what I have seen so far,’ she told local reporterson Wednesday, during her first visit to D-M. ‘This is a very, very busy base.’
James praised the A-10 mission here and said proposals to retire the fleet nationally were rooted in budget constraints. She pointed to D-M’s new drone unit, which remotely flies MQ-1 Predator drones, and nearby training areas as platforms for expansion.
‘I think there’s room for growth, in terms of missions’ at D-M, she said.
James’ whirlwind visit to Tucson comes as D-M supporters tout a new survey showing strong local support for the base and for the controversial prospect of high-decibel F-35s flying more frequently in Southern Arizona.