From an editorial Monday in the Fayetteville Observer:
Thom Tillis is a quick study. Just a few months into his first term as a U.S. senator from North Carolina, he’s playing a pretty respectable game of hardball.
The former speaker of the N.C. House now sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee. He’s waging a hard but frustrating battle with the Air Force over its plans to shut down the 440th Airlift Wing, which is a critical part of training airborne and special operations troops at Fort Bragg.
So far, his attempts to get answers from the Air Force have been frustrated by service leaders’ avoidance and double-talk. So he’s turning up the heat a few notches, placing a hold on all civilian appointments in the Department of the Air Force and its parent, the Department of Defense. Yes, one senator can do that. The late Sen. Jesse Helms was the grand master of the tactic.
This is about critical training for the nation’s elite rapid-response force. Saving the 440th is an urgent mission. We hope now that someone in the Pentagon will pay attention.