House Armed Services Committee chairman visits Dyess AFB

U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry

Dyess Air Force Base received an important visit Thursday from the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

Rep. Mac Thornberry appeared at the base at a time when Dyess and other air bases are competing to house the U.S. military's next bomber, which is currently under development.

Thornberry accepted Rep. Jodey Arrington's invitation to visit Dyess AFB. Arrington represents the Texas 19th Congressional District, which includes Abilene.

Airmen gave the representatives a look at Dyess operations and impressive equipment, specifically the B-1B Lancer and the C-130.

Thornberry said the mission for the two airplanes are "central to our security and are going to be central for years to come."

"Dyess is more important -- the mission of Dyess, the people of Dyess are more important right now than they've ever been," Thornberry said.

That is until the U.S. military rolls out an aircraft worth $500 million.

"It is true we are putting a high priority on the next bomber - the B-21," Thornberry said. "It's got to come in on schedule... on budget."

Meanwhile, Arrington said Dyess AFB helps bring in an estimated $1 million a day to Abilene's economy.

"There's a lot of good truth to tell about the story of Dyess and Abilene, so I think it's going to go well in the competition," Arrington said.

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