188th Budget Cuts to Take Focus in “Defenders Tour” Stop

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Supporters of the 188th Fighter Wing are hoping for a large crowd during Tuesday night’s “Defending our Defenders” listening tour in Fort Smith.

The “Defending our Defenders” tour was launched by congressional leaders to allow city leaders and local residents to tell Congress how defense budget cuts would impact the local community.

The 2013 Defense budget called for substantial cuts to the 188th Fighter Wing, based in Fort Smith, including the removal of the A-10 mission from the 188th. While those cuts have been delayed, bills that could block those cuts have not yet been approved by congress.

In a recent interview with our partners at TheCityWire.com Rep. Steve Womack R-Rogers cited challenges the group is facing.

“We still have a lot of unanswered questions as we near the end of the year, especially with this issue of sequestration,” said Womack.

The Defending our Defenders Tour was created, in part, due to an effort by Arkansas’ Congressional Delegation to protect the 188th’s A-10 mission.

The event will welcome U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., who serves as chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on Readiness. U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, R-Rogers, in conjunction with U.S. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., is sponsoring the event.

The defending our defenders tour will be held at the Arkansas Best Corporation Performing Arts Center in the Fort Smith Convention Center Tuesday night.

Doors will open for the event at 5 p.m. with the event starting at 6 p.m.

Click here to read more about the “Defending our Defenders” tour.