Sen. Wicker’s top priority: Protecting 155th

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[U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker starts with thoughts about the Mississippi GOP split after the recent U.S. Senate primary election, discusses at 2:00 efforts to keep the National Guard’s 155th Heavy Brigade Combat Team and at 4:20 explains his position on an on-going U.S. military presence in Afghanistan.]

 

Adam Robison | Buy at photos.djournal.com U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker addresses the Tupelo Luncheon Civitan Club on Thursday.

Adam Robison | Buy at photos.djournal.com
U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker addresses the Tupelo Luncheon Civitan Club on Thursday.

By Robbie Ward

Daily Journal

TUPELO – U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker delivered a strong dose of skepticism and opposition to President Barack Obama’s policies during a visit Thursday to the Tupelo Luncheon Civitan Club.

In an interview with the Daily Journal afterward, he shared his most immediate concern – fighting the administration’s recommendation to eliminate the Mississippi National Guard’s 155th Heavy Brigade Combat Team, headquartered in Tupelo.

The Department of Defense’s proposal to dissolve the National Guard unit also would remove Apache attack helicopters from the combat team’s aviation facility in Tupelo.

“It’s my number one priority in September,” Wicker said during an interview with the Daily Journal. “We need to get it done before the end of the fiscal year.”

The federal government’s fiscal year ends Sept. 30.

Wicker supports passage of the Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, which includes funding for an independent national commission to analyze Obama’s budget recommendations to restructure the Army’s active-duty and reserve facilities.

Both Wicker and Sen. Thad Cochran have sponsored federal legislation to protect the National Guard unit with strong ties to Tupelo. The Obama Administration has recommended transferring all Army Guard AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to other facilities.

“We’re very much all about protecting the 155th and our National Guard units,” Wicker said.

Beyond protecting the state’s military facilities, Wicker also disagreed with Obama’s plans to withdraw all military support from Afghanistan in 2017. Wicker said the nation should have learned lessons from Korean and Iraqi conflicts about the importance of keeping a significant military presence for support duties.

“One thing I would ask the president to do is listen to the generals and not let the same debacle that happened in Iraq happen again in Afghanistan,” the Tupelo Republican said.

As for state Republican Party politics, Wicker acknowledged healing needed within the state GOP after the emotional and bitter U.S. Senate primary election between Cochran and state Sen. Chris McDaniel, who is contesting the results.

“I think there’s some healing to do,” he said.

robbie.ward@journalinc.com

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  • 1941641

    With the specter of another Tea Party MS Senator wannabe standing on the horizon, waiting for Wicker’s re-election to arrive, he suddenly awakens from his long do-nothing Rip Van Winkle rest period to announce his concerns for protecting the 155th Heavy Brigade Team from removal at the Tupelo Facility. All this hoopla while still ignoring Mississippi’s ground-level ranking in regard to its economical ranking among the other states showing forward progress compared to Mississippi’s backward progress. Mississippi always on the bottom! Is this what Conservatism is really all about, Sen. Wicker? ‘Armaments’ above ‘Economic Progress’ that ultimately benefits all of Mississippi’s people? Would it not be appropriate to call you an ‘Ultra-Hawk,’ Senator ?

    By the way, the lesson we should have learned about Iraq was not keeping troops there forever, it was about the Conservative Republican Politics that got us there in the first place and you, if I remember right sir, were a voice in favor of the Iraq War during it’s complete tenure!

  • facts

    NOW he says something! To Late!! The deals done and it happened on your watch. Sen. Wicker this should have never made it to the floor.

  • Thile

    “It’s my number one priority in September…”

    Wow…

  • charlie

    For the last 5 years and 7 months it would appear that your no. 1 priority was “just say No!”

  • 1941641

    Wicker still on the DJ Show with the same stale comments.

    He must be trying to get ready to take on Chris McDaniel when his soon-to-be next election cycle comes around. With the political expertise and political revenge McDaniel will have going for him in the next go-around, Wicker may ultimately bite the political dust–big time, and for the good of every Mississippian!!!