In support of our L.A. Airforce Base, which performs critical space and missile systems operations, on February 3, 2015, LA County’s Board of Supervisors passed a motion introduced by Supervisor Don Knabe to send a letter to the Department of Defense and to the Air Force in support of keeping our base open and protecting its jobs, and also encouraging all 88 cities within LA County to do the same. You can find the motion here and copied below.
MOTION BY SUPERVISOR DON KNABE February 3, 2015
The Los Angeles Air Force Base (LAAFB) and the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) are critical assets to the aerospace industry and the nation’s ability to design the military technology necessary to adequately provide for our national defense. The biggest asset to our country’s safety, possessed by the LAAFB and SMC, is its unmatched skilled workforce based in Los Angeles. This brain trust, consisting of 5,879 directly employed military, civilian, and contractor workers and 11,776 indirectly employed, has made its home in Los Angeles and would be unlikely to migrate anywhere else if either the LAAFB or SMC moved some of its operations. This localized, highly skilled workforce is essential to the success of the LAAFB and the SMC, and has time and again proven itself crucial to the defense of the United States of America.
The SMC has provided the nation with highly sophisticated intelligence gathering infrastructure that has significantly contributed to the U.S. military’s advancement in
missions such as Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom where SMC is noted as having added “unimaginable speed and precision to American military operations” through the use of space-based surveillance, communications, navigation and meteorology.
As national defense continues to rely more on intelligence gathering, the role SMC has played in developing, acquiring, fielding and sustaining our military space systems cannot be overstated. SMC has proven to be a critical infrastructure asset to our national defense both in the past as well as for the foreseeable future.
LAAFB’s and SMC’s location also bolsters its strategic importance to our national defense due to the following factors:
– Los Angeles County remains the top location for aerospace and defense in the nation—still home to major prime contractor operations, such as Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, and Honeywell, as well as home to more small and mid-sized companies in the A&D supply chain than anywhere else in the nation.
– Los Angeles County also graduates more engineers than any other region and has developed sophisticated programs at community colleges and universities to meet the needs of the aerospace and defense industry well into the future.
– The proximity to a significantly large aerospace and defense ecosystem of companies coupled with an unmatched skilled workforce available only in L.A. provide the LAAFB with unparalleled built-in benefits to advance its mission.
Los Angeles provides vital talent and connections to the largest aerospace manufacturing base in the country to the LAAFB and SMC, which can be found nowhere else. Similarly, the Los Angeles Air Force base is a Los Angeles icon, keeping our region connected to the armed forces and the women and men who keep our country safe.
History has shown us that we must be forever vigilant so that this incredible asset to our national security and regional economy is not threatened by closure or relocation.
I, THEREFORE, MOVE that the Board of Supervisors send a five signature letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James expressing our firm support for the Los Angeles Air Force Base and stating that any relocation attempt of the Space and Missile Systems Center would be detrimental to national defense and the mission of the Los Angeles Air Force Base.
I, THEREFORE, FURTHER MOVE that the Board of Supervisors send a five-signature letter to the Mayors of the County’s eighty-eight cities encouraging them to pass resolutions in support of the Los Angeles Air Force Base and the Space and Missile Systems Center to the Secretaries of Defense and the Air Force.
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