The 2017 Robins Regional Chamber sponsored State of the Base was held at the Museum of Aviation Tuesday.
Jacob Reynolds was at the meeting and heard what base leaders say are their top concerns going into this year.
It was a mix of confidence and caution at 2017’s State of the Base.
Leaders say Robins is performing well and efficiently, but larger Air Force budget problems are causing concern here in Central Georgia.
“Your air force is ready to fight tonight and defend our country. We are still and we will remain the greatest Air Force on this planet,” Brigadier General John Kubinec told the crowd.
It was a moment of confidence for General Kubinec that comes from a place of concern.
Kubinec said the Air Force is the smallest and oldest it's ever been and that's affecting readiness, which means Robins' role as a repair center has become even more crucial.
“Our nation needs us more now than ever. The work that we do here at the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex is needed now and into the future to ensure we have that readiness going forward. So, it's incumbent upon us to do our very best for the nation, I'm very proud of the work that's been done here, our nation needs us,” Kubinec told media after the luncheon.
Kubinec is also 'very' concerned about the federal budget. He said the current continuing resolution that reduces military spending could be a threat if approved for the full year.
“That would basically put us back to the sequester mindset. It would seriously impact our readiness today it would impact our ability to modernize in the future. It's one of the most significant threats to our readiness that we have right now,” he said.
Colonel Jeff King agreed that the resolution could harm readiness. He also said Robins was doing what it could to ask for exemptions to the hiring freeze outside the Air Logistics Complex.
“There's some areas we can take some risks. Maybe it's in admin or places like that. Others, aircraft production, medical, legal services, supply support and sustainment, civil engineering, those are just things we cannot afford to lapse or take a gap or have a reduced capacity on for an extended period of time,” King said.
It was not all bad news on Tuesday.
Col. King and Gen. Kubenic highlighted the Base's rising safety record and the maintenance award the ALC won for the second year in a row.