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Keeping the Cargo Plane Squadron in Mississippi: Palazzo Says It Could Happen Post-Election

BILOXI, Miss.–Keeping the C130js on the Mississippi coast is a fight against the federal government that’s been going on for quite a while. But since Tuesday’s election and the Republican take-back of the U.S. Senate, Rep. Steven Palazzo sees it as more of a possibility.

“Some of the things the DoD (Dept. of Defense) has been doing under this administration I think has been heavily politically slanted to hurt states that did not go for Obama,” he said Tuesday in comments to News Mississippi following the election.

The current plan is to eventually move the 815th Tactical Airlift Squadron at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi to Little Rock, Ark., along with all the essential personnel it takes to run it. That would not only take capabilities away from Keesler, but could hurt businesses that have been built around having those people and their families living at the base.

“With Sen. Cochran being chairman of the Appropriations Committee, and my continuous work on the House Armed Services Committee, and my colleagues, I think there’s a chance.”

He said he never saw the logic in the potential move.

“Keesler’s their home. They’ve broken records in Afghanistan. They do a fantastic job and they do it at a very good price for the taxpayers.”

He said the squadron is an integrated force of reserves and active duty.

“Yes, I think there’s a good chance they’re gonna stay here. The president’s gonna have a lot more problems on his hands.”

He said he believes people are “feeling the pain” of the president’s policies and that may be why voters chose a Republican majority in the Senate and Republican governors in states that are traditionally Democrat.

“This is absolutely the president’s policies that are hurting Americans and putting our national security at risk.”

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