Recently, I attended a meeting concerning the F-35B and the future of military bases in Beaufort. The meeting seemed self-serving, as the men who organized it only wanted to talk about the effect of the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) and the F-35B on Beaufort. I would ask that the discussion be opened up to a broader view.
What does the F-35B offer the military as whole? What does it do to our national budget? How effective is it to the missions of our military? Is it worth pursuing? Does it work as it should?
As to the bases, what is best for the military? What is more efficient? If Beaufort's bases are not best for the nation as a whole, we should not expect them to continue just because we want them for our economy.
One of the men at the meeting talked about how the loss of bases can affect our economy, but every city can claim that. So we keep bases open just because? Now, there is the reason government spending is out of control.
I challenge Beaufort leaders to be more forward-thinking. Do not hitch the city's future only to government spending. Towns that lost bases had leaders who looked elsewhere for income. Can't Beaufort's leaders do the same? If not, why not?
Whether one is for or against the jets or bases, it doesn't matter. What matters is what is best for the country as a whole.