Drone operators are being forced to train in an unclassified facility while Trump drains millions from the military to build his wall.
Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) told Trump's nominee for secretary of the Air Force that while Trump is diverting military resources to build his wall, trainees are using duct tape to patch holes in the walls at their facility.
The exchange occurred on Thursday during a confirmation hearing in the Senate Armed Services Committee for Barbara M. Barrett. Trump's nominee to serve as secretary of the Army, Ryan D. McCarthy, also testified.
Heinrich noted that Trump's proposal would cut $85 million from the training facility at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, "a new building that is desperately needed to effectively train all of our MQ-9 operators."
"Were you aware that we train 100% of the active reserve and international MQ-9 operators at the Holloman facility?" Heinrich asked.
"Senator, I was not aware of that, no," replied Barrett.
"Are you aware of the fact that current trainees are resorting to using duct tape to patch holes in the walls and ceilings of their training facility?" he then asked.
"No, Senator," she answered.
"I think we can do better than that," Heinrich said, noting that because of the conditions of the facilities, the MQ-9 operators are being "forced to train in an unclassified, unsecure environment."
Barrett could not give Heinrich concrete steps for how money could be found to fund the project.
Trump promised during the presidential campaign that Mexico would pay for his wall, but they refused. He could not convince the Democratic-led House to spend billions of tax dollars on his idea and now military readiness is under threat for "the wall."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.