Valdosta Daily Times

April 18, 2014

Moody in running for Afghan pilot mission

Stuart Taylor
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Moody Air Force Base is one of three military bases being considered for a temporary mission to train Afghan pilots next year, Rep. Austin Scott told the South Georgia Military Affairs Council Thursday.

The light air support mission would be a temporary, one-year mission, training 120 Afghan pilots and maintenance workers to fly and maintain aircraft, Scott said during his Valdosta visit.

The mission, which would run January 2015 through January 2016, has yet to be assigned to one of three bases: Moody, Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina, or Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho.

The mission’s location will be decided between the beginning of August and the end of October.

Scott also talked about the future of the A-10s at Moody.

With an Air Force proposal calling for a drawdown of the A-10s during the next 24 months, Scott detailed Moody’s options.

“There’s some questions as to whether or not we’re able to stop the drawdown, period. There’s some questions as to whether or not it would be 60 months.”

It’s that potential drawdown that has Scott looking for other missions, like the Afghan training mission and future drone missions for Moody, among others.

“We’re eight to 10 years from the F-35 coming off the assembly line and being based at any of the bases in the United States. Our scores are good at Moody for the F-35. We have every reason to believe we’ll receive the F-35,” Scott said. “Our ultimate goal is 10 years from now to have the F-35 and as many flying missions as we can for Moody.”