ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. — Thanks to some changes set to take place at Robins Air Force Base, Houston County could see some new jobs for the community.
This is good news for all of Central Georgia and the state as a whole because there is no job loss expected with these missions. In fact, 21st Century Partnership says there could be some new jobs created in the future.
We've known for awhile that JSTARS is getting phased out at Robins Air Force Base. Now, we have a better idea of what's coming and when.
"It is a positive step forward to get the missions that the Air Force said we were going to get here," Chief Operations Officer for 21st Century Partnership Dan Rhoades said.
The changes include a new high tech command called the Advanced Battlefield Management System. Their new facility is now under construction. According to a report, the Georgia Air National Guard members will retrain to new roles and active-duty airmen will retrain or move to other bases.
"The manpower positions that are in the state are for the state, so we would expect those positions to stay here and they would retrain into the new positions and then, active duty members would get orders to go to other locations, as anticipated," Rhoades said.
Rhoades says this is all standard operating procedure in how the Air Force plans new missions.
"You figure from a construction perspective, it takes a while to put up new facilities, so this gives them an opportunity to be able to build those facilities, and as they build them, they'll be sending them out for training," Rhoades said.
Rhoades says part of the reason Robins gets new missions is because Central Georgia shows a lot of support for the base.
"As per their statement when they originally announced it a few years ago. Pretty good news. We are certainly looking forward to that group as well as all of the missions that are coming to Robins Air Force Base," Rhoades said.
He says the Electromagnetic Warfare Group coming to Robins is also "fabulous news." Six JSTARS planes are gone and by the end of 2024, the rest should be, too. That's according to the base's latest report.
A new aircraft called the E-11a is also coming to Robins by 2027. That's a flying Battlefield Communications System. The first one arrives in 2023.