WASHINGTON, DC (WLOX) - Important news was announced Friday for military bases on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and across the country. No military bases will close in 2017, according to Sen. Roger Wicker.
Wicker said the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act will not call for any base closings, and instead will strengthen Mississippi's military installations.
"I am especially pleased that this year's defense bill would not authorize any new rounds of base closings – an ill-advised idea with so many global threats at hand," said Wicker in a news release.
According to Lt. Gen. James Jackson, chief of the Air Force Reserve, the 815th Tactical Airlift Squadron at Keesler Air Force Base is on track to return to full strength by 2019. Also, new jobs are being created for the 403rd Wing, which will soon get a maintenance unit and aeromedical evacuation squadron.
Wicker also commended South Mississippi shipbuilders for their ability to deliver quality vessels to the U.S. Navy.
"I am continually impressed by the work being done at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula as well as the state-of-the-art vessels made at VT Halter to advance the Navy's capabilities at sea," said Wicker.
He said the defense bill fully funds the construction of two guided missile destroyers and provides incremental funding for a third.