Guard Flight Simulator One Of Several Projects Which Remain On Hold To Build Wall
A flight simulator used to help fight wildfires is on the list of projects that will remain in limbo. The flight simulator, destined for the California National Guard, was put on hold last year, after the Trump administration declared a national emergency and unilaterally removed $3.6 billion from the defense budget in 2019.
The budget dollars were destined for military construction projects.
The simulator was scheduled to be built in the Channel Islands and used to train pilots on C130J aircraft. The Air National Guard is increasingly being called to fight wildfires. The C130 is used to drop water and flame retardant.
The simulator was originally scheduled to go online in September.
According to a statement from the Secretary of Defense’s office, none of the 127 military projects, including 63 projects inside of the United States, which lost funding in 2019, received authorization this year.
Caught in the ongoing standoff with the Trump administration and Congress, the flight simulator and the other projects are considered approved but unfunded, according to the Pentagon.
Instead, the Trump administration removed another $3.2 billion from military projects this year, after the budget passed.
“We’re left with a situation where the administration is controlling all of the defense budget,” said Rep. Susan Davis, D-San Diego, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. “And they are a partner in this. But they do not make all of those decisions. The Congress does. By law.”
The California National Guard would not comment, citing ongoing litigation. The California Attorney General is among the state attorneys general who are suing the Trump administration to restore funding for these projects and other funds diverted to expand the wall.