Beaufort News

Chamber wins national award for Operation F-35-Beaufort campaign

The Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce has landed national recognition for its Operation F35-Beaufort campaign -- an effort to boost local and statewide support to bring the military's newest generation of fighter jets to Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort.

The American Chamber of Commerce Executives will present its Gold Award in August for Operation F35-Beaufort at the 27th annual Awards of Communication Excellence convention in Los Angeles, according to a chamber news release.

In December, the Navy announced its decision to house five Joint Strike Fighter squadrons -- 88 jets total -- at the air station. The F-35B will replace the F-18 Hornets now flown at the base.

The chamber advocated a Department of Navy plan to locate the squadrons in Beaufort because it would improve the local economy, former chamber president Carlotta Ungaro said at the time.

To house the F-35B, the base will undergo $351.8 million in improvements over the next five years, according to a Navy report.

Operation F35-Beaufort's public relations campaign included the chamber, the Military Enhancement Committee, the Lowcountry Economic Network & Alliance, and the Williams Group PR.

Last month, Williams Group PR earned a Mercury Award of Merit from the S.C. Public Relations Society of America for its work on Operation F-35 Beaufort.