Who is responsible for C-130s moving from Keesler AFB?

The Air Force’s decision to move C-130 transport aircraft from Keeler Air Force Base has become a political football in Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District.

In recent WLOX interviews, Former Rep. Gene Taylor blames incumbent Rep. Steven Palazzo’s reckless voting for defense budget cuts and Palazzo blames Taylor for the trillions of dollars in national debt racked-up during his tenure as 4th District Congressman.  Another candidate, Tom Carter, said that he’ll just make a phone call to his former colleague, Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee, to keep the planes there.

In 2011, national debt was labeled as the biggest threat to national security by then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, ADM Mike Mullen.  Not surprisingly, DoD’s share of the U.S. budget is shrinking and the Air Force is likely making economic trade-offs:

US Spedning (1970 to 2040)

For his part, Palazzo has challenged the Air Force’s math.  And so has every other elected official that represents areas that could be impacted by proposed realignments.  If keeping C-130’s at Keesler AFB is the best decision strategically and financially, they should stay.  In an election year, what are the chances that politics don’t trump national security?

For more information:

Gene Taylor: Palazzo Has No Credibility

In a WLOX report, former Congressman Gene Taylor stated that incumbent Congressman Steven Palazzo has no credibility with the Department of Defense and “doesn’t know how to get things done.”  For the full report, see Gene Taylor:  Palazzo has no credibility, doesn’t know how to get things done.

On Palazzo’s campaign website, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1988 and served in the Persian Gulf War’s Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.  Palazzo is currently serving in the Mississippi Army National Guard, the only active member of Congress to be doing so.

Palazzo unseated Taylor, a 20-year incumbent Democrat, from the 4th Congressional District seat in 2010.  During that primary, Palazzo was considered the “Republican establishment” candidate and Joe Tegerdine the “Tea Party” challenger.  After defeating Tegerdine in the Republican Primary that year, Tegerdine endorsed the Democrat Taylor for his “record of integrity and willingness to be forthright with the people in our district” and not his record.