Residents of Bishop and Kingsville may have noticed something missing in the skies overhead. Those orange and white T-45 jet trainers are not flying.
It's a direct result of the partial government shutdown.
Captain Chris Misner said that is their main mission at Naval Air Station-Kingsville -- it's what they do. They fly planes. So to look up and not see those planes in the skies is very unusual.
The T-45s at NAS-Kingsville are grounded. The main impact of the government shutdown is that maintenance is not being performed on the jets, and because of that, it is simply not safe to fly the planes. That means that they are not training the next generation of Naval aviators in the cockpit.
Even so, Captain Misner says that on any given day, there is still plenty of work to do at the Naval Air Station, and they're doing it.
"What we're doing right now everyday, we're getting caught up on all of our administrative requirements," Misner said. "We're getting caught up on a lot of training. Folks are sitting in classrooms, getting their classrooms done, examinations done, you know. We're doing a lot of physical training. I mean, there's a lot of things on any given day that we can be doing on board Naval Air Station-Kingsville to, like I said, conduct the business of the American people."
Misner said the Naval Air Station stands mission-ready to support Training Air Wing 2 when they're ready to start flying again. The airspace is ready to go. The controllers are in the tower and in the radar room, and the runway's ready to go when flight operations resume.
Captain Misner said NAS-Kingsville is open for business. They're just waiting to start flying those planes again.
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