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Posts Tagged ‘DM Airforce Base’

17th December
written by JHiggins

Apparently DM is in the running to be the base of choice for the Air Force’s new F-35 supersonic fighter jet.   We  may need to land the F-35 to ensure DM Air Force bases future in our community. Tucson Citizen ran a story today HERE.

DM’s current jet squadron, the A-10 preformed amazingly in the Desert Storm and Desert Shield campaigns but the 1960’s aircraft is starting to show it’s age.

If we loose the A-10’s and don’t replace them with a new fighter squadron DM could be in trouble the next time the military goes through a BRAC realignment.

The good news is a group of area business people and community leaders have banded together to create the DM-50. The sole purpose of the group is to makes sure relationships between Tucson and the military are as strong as they can be.  The DM-50 which was started in part by Dorothy Finley of Finley Distributing successfully helped DM avoid the hatchet on at least two other BRAC’s (Base Realignment and Closure). 

I’ve heard the story directly from Dorothy about how she stepped up and didn’t wait until it was too late. Dorothy took a group to Washington D.C. and requested that Senator McCain’s office set up a in chambers a dinner with the other members of the decision team. The schmoozing worked and we still have a military base.

The rumblings are starting already. Phoenix suburbs are swooping around and courting the F-35’s into their market. In the light of the recent crash in San Diego one fo the big advantages Pima County has taken was to make sure that the ‘flight paddle’ or no build zone is adequately large enough to handle the new jets

From article;

While Phoenix-area officials have been meeting with Air Force officials and touting the West Valley and Luke Air Force Base as an ideal home for the F-35, Tucson officials have apparently stopped lobbying.

Mayor Bob Walkup and Glen Kerslake, president of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base booster group DM-50, said this week that it had been more than two years since they had heard any news on whether the F-35 would come to Tucson or had formal conversations about it.

I’m a little uncomfortable having Mayor Bob on point for this issue or many other issues.  He’s ‘Big hat and no cows’. I realize he’s the lone Republican surrounded by a pack of Dems that want his job but come on use your position to get something done in our community.

Glenn Kerslake on the watch the other hand will let me sleep a little sounder.

There can be no doubt that if we loose DM our region would suffer greatly. Next time you hear the jets over head thank people like Dorothy Finley, Glenn Kerslake and the DM 50.

After meeting with top Air Force officials Thursday, Peoria Mayor Bob Barrett told the Arizona Republic, “If we are successful in acquiring the F-35 for Luke, it will help the mission of the base for the next 40 years.”

How about them apples? Baseball, bio-tech and now bases. Phoenix continues to beat us to the punch. Could it be that they are more organized, visionary  and focused on strategic economic development engines? Nah they are just getting all the breaks.

F-35 Joint Striker Jet

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