Supporters of Ellington Field say a plan to retire 17 fighter jets there would jeopardize the defense of the Houston Ship Channel and area petrochemical plants.
The Defense Department's Base Realignment and Closure Commission has recommended that the Air National Guard jets be retired from the Houston airport to help cut expenses.
The plan calls for unmanned drones and three combat jets to be placed at the airport.
Political, business and military leaders Tuesday told a state Senate committee that three jets aren't enough to protect the region's assets, which could be vulnerable to terrorist attacks.
Tuesday's hearing of the state Senate Veterans Affairs and Military Installation Committee was an update on Ellington's future as a military facility.