The question is: what is LA - or more importantly, California going to do to protect it?
As I mentioned below, this morning, I attended a local chamber of commerce breakfast. The presentation, as fate would have it, was on the consequences of LAAFB closing.
Here are some facts, from the powerpoint presentation I watched, that, judging by the headers, comes from the LAAFB Regional Alliance:
- LAAFB's Satellite and Space programs generate nearly 50,000 direct and indirect jobs in LA County and more than 110,ooo in the state.
- Total revenue for LA County businesses - $8 billion annually.
- The Space and Missle Systems Center (SMC) at LAAFB manages $60 billion in contracts and employs 90% of the nation's military space workers.
- Local aerospace contractors we might lose: Boeing Satellite Systems, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and more.
- LA is also home to the Aerospace Corporation - one of only two Federally Funded Research and Development Centers connected to a military base. Their budget: $600 million.
- To answer reader charges that LAAFB is a sub-par facility: Ground has already been broken for the LAAFB modernization - a state-of-the-art 560,000 square foot facility in El Segundo being built with NO military construction dollars:
So, do you like an economically strong Los Angeles County? How about California? How many more jobs would you like to see leave California? For South Bay readers: did you go to school here? What would our local schools be like without the base? Not only the families (from diverse backgrounds, all kinds of life experience, with very involved parents, but the special science programs and classroom enrichment opportunities from both the Air Force and aerospace industries.
Closing LAAFB doesn't make sense for the South Bay. It doesn't make sense for California. It doesn't make sense for the Air Force OR for national security.
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Update: It will be interesting to see if tomorrow night's mayoral debate will hit on this issue. Current Mayor Hahn, and challengers Hertzberg, Villaraigosa, Parks, and Alarcon are scheduled to attend. Hertzberg, Villaraigosa, and Alarcon have all served in the state legislature and should be keenly aware of the financial strain under which the state has been operating for the past few years. Then again, Hahn is no stranger, since the state has been bleeding local government for years too. I would expect all mayoral hopefuls would pledge to work tirelessly to protect LAAFB.