Another round of base realignment and closures isn't likely to happen anytime soon, a Georgia congressman said Tuesday.
In an exclusive interview with 13WMAZ, U.S. Rep. Jody Hice said current federal lawmakers are more interested in rebuilding the nation's military, not depleting it by closing some installations and shifting missions around.
Hice said the military buildup is being lead by President Donald Trump and that those efforts negate the need for another Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC).
"I say that primarily because we have the commander-in-chief that we have right now who is committed to building our military," Hice said. "We have sustained so many cuts over the last eight years that have been devastating to our military and we certainly aren't living in a safer world at this point."
Two weeks ago, Hice was appointed to the House Armed Forces Committee. Hice said he's already met with high-ranking Air Force officials and other congressional members to discuss military needs, including Robins Air Force Base.
"Just this week, I meet with the Air Force Secretary (Heather) Wilson and (8th District Congressman) Austin Scott was in there and a couple of other representatives as well, and the classified briefings so I can't get into a lot of specifics, but Robins was a top priority of discussion, and we're going to continue fighting and working in behalf of Robins."
Hice also discussed the recent federal shutdown, calling it unnecessary, primarily because the major sticking point, taking action on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA),was on-going when the shutdown happened.
"What's interesting to me is that those discussions were already underway, and the DACA fix is not required to be dealt with until March, and so here we are in January trying to force an issue that number one has nothing to do with funding our military or the children's health care program or keeping our government open and it was under no emergency whatsoever."
Hice, a Greensboro Republican, holds Georgia's 10th District congressional seat. He plans to seek re-election to a third two-year term this year. So far, two other candidates have announced that they'll seek the post.
They are Chalis Montgomery, a Democrat and educator from Bethlehem, and Joe Hunt, a Republican and Watkinsville businessman. This year's primary election is scheduled May 22. If needed, runoffs would be held July 24. The general election is scheduled for November 6.
The10th congressional district covers 24 Georgia counties, including parts or all of several Middle Georgia counties. Those counties include Putnam, Washington, Baldwin, Jasper and Johnson.