United States Air Force Personnel, Senators Johnny Isakson and David Perdue, and state and local representatives stand for the pledge of allegiance at the second annual Robins Air Force Base Congressional Breakfast in D.C.
Kristin Moriarty/Staff Writer
Sat, Dec 09, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The 21st Century Partnership, Robins Regional Chamber of Commerce Aerospace Industry Committee and the Association of Old Crows hosted its second annual Robins Air Force Base (RAFB) Congressional Breakfast early Wednesday morning in Washington D.C. with co-hosts Sen. Johnny Isakson, Sen. David Perdue, Congressman Sanford Bishop and Congressman Austin Scott. Scott was unable to attend due to the birth of his, and his wife’s, new baby.
The breakfast was held in one of the many hearing rooms in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. About 40 people that included state and local elected officials, industry representatives, etc., were in attendance from the middle Georgia area to support RAFB. Along with them were more than 20 distinguished military and DOD civilian attendees that included the Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein.
Opening the breakfast with the invocation and leading of the pledge was Warner Robins Mayor Randy Toms. Toms said it was an honor for him to be a part of the gathering and wonderful community of Warner Robins and RAFB. Senior adviser of the 21st Century Partnership and President of the Museum of Aviation Chrissy Miner welcomed everyone to the event.
“I stand before you today as a proud member of the middle Georgia community, home to Robins Air Force Base, a source of great pride to our community and the economic engine that drives our region,” Miner said. “Robins is a large multi-mission installation with active, civilian, guard and reserve components and more than a 70-year history of delivering America’s airpower to the fight.”
Miner went on to say that Robins Air Force Base’s legacy of support has afforded the opportunity to be in direct support of every major conflict since World War II.
“We are a proud defense community,” Miner said. “Don’t believe me? Just check out our hedges emblazoned with our self-appointed, spirited acronym EDIMGIAFAD — Every Day In Middle Georgia is Armed Forces Appreciation Day. It brings us great joy to care for our men and women in uniform and their families both during service and after.”
Miner also highlighted VECTR (Veterans Education Career Transition Resource) Center, the Middle Georgia STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) Alliance as well as the second largest Air Force museum in the nation, the Museum of Aviation at Robins Air Force Base.
“All the wonderful attributes I just highlighted are not possible without the stellar support of our Georgia Congressional delegation, which we are blessed to have here this morning,” Miner said. “In my opinion, our strongest attribute is in supporting our collective efforts to be a world-class defense community.”
To that, Miner first introduced Sen. Isakson. Isakson, who said he is proud of all the sponsors of the congressional breakfast and, most importantly, Robins Air Force Base.
“Let me just say this — where else do you find a base that includes a $2.3 billion payroll to the civilian community,” Isakson said. “Where else do you find a $2.8 billion impact to its surrounding region supporting more of the military war fighting equipment than any other base in the United States of America? I’ll tell you. There’s one place you will find it, and that’s Robins Air Force Base. It is the key of the air power of the United States.”
Speaking next was Sen. Perdue, who was raised in Warner Robins and is a graduate of Northside High School.
“I am humbled and honored to be here today,” Perdue said. “Today, Robins Air Force Base is the top depot maintenance facility in all of the Air Force, two years running. And that is only one of many distinguished accomplishments Robins has. I always say we don’t know what tomorrow brings, and one thing we need in the military right now is flexibility. We’ve got a huge debt crisis, huge financial situation in terms of trying to recap our military, and I’ll add that we haven’t been in this position in a long time. But I am confident that it will come together to make the right decisions. Robins is so very important to the mission. It stands with great support from the people of the community, it has great facilities, geography and, most importantly, a room to grow for a great future.”
Congressman Bishop then greeted everyone.
“It is important to share the story of Robins Air Force Base so our voices can echo through the halls of Congress,” Bishop said. “Robins is a multi-functional installation with room to grow and has a strong community. We must ensure that Robins and the communities surrounding it are postured for future growth. And we must fight together to maintain the important role that Robins plays in our strategic national defense and the economy of our state. Thank you all for being here. The size of this crowd today shows how important and what Robins Air Force Base means to us all.”
Brig. Gen. John Kubinec, commander of the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex at RAFB, introduced the keynote speaker of the breakfast, Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson (see separate Houston Home Journal Story for more highlights of Wilson’s speech).
“The uniform leadership in the United States Air Force is so strong,” Wilson said. “So that includes the leadership of Robins Air Force Base. It’s one of the things that makes my job such a tremendous joy. I thank you all for being here, and I also thank the Georgia delegation. We are blessed to have an effective delegation.”
In closing, remarks were made by Lt. Gen. Lee Levy, commander of the Air Force Sustainment Center.
“I, too, celebrate with you today Robins Air Force Base,” Levy said. “Let’s not forget that Robins and its mission of what it delivers to our Air Force is crucial. And let us also not forget that Robins is a part of the sustainment center enterprise. It makes our Air Force second to none. All of you in this room are the engines of readiness and that is the key essential element of our mission. Thank you all.”