SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Rep. Buddy Carter said the new proposed federal budget would make a move that is bad for the Savannah economy, and national defense.

Carter was in the Hostess City Tuesday to talk about the importance of the Savannah Combat Readiness Training Center (CRTC).

“Representative Carter says it’s just a bad idea to close the Combat Readiness Training Center or the CRTC.” 

The reason he opposes closing the facility is the fact that the facility trains pilots from all over the country. Carter toured a $24 million hanger that is not even complete yet.

“Behind me, you see a $24 million dollar investment we’re going to have the ribbon cutting on this in September and they’re closing it in April,” Carter said.

April 2023 would see the end to what Carter says is a dominant training center nationwide.

“We’re right here on the coast, we’ve got air space, the air space to train. Every 22 pilot has been trained right here,” Carter said. “The air space is all the way up from Daytona Beach to Charleston. And that gives us the air space to train all of these different branches of our military, whether it be the Navy, the Marines or the Air Force.”

Carter says this facility is the most utilized around the country but the only one slated for closure. He believes it means fewer, well-trained pilots.

“Here we are potentially on the verge of World War III and they’re talking about closing a Combat Readiness Training Center. It is simply ridiculous,” Carter said.

“We’re going to salute smartly and do what the U.S. Air Force tells us to do,” said Maj. General Thomas Grabowski, Commander of the Georgia Air National Guard. “But we certainly hope that they take maybe one more look at this and see the value of what Savannah brings.

In terms of a potential closure, it would mean a loss of up to 100 jobs but Carter also said it’s about national defense 

“I am not sure people here realize what a gem we have in this facility,” Carter said.  

While it is early in the budgeting process, Carter said he does plan to fight this proposal and he said the Georgia delegation is on board.