I have been in Beaufort all my life (since 1930), and I understand what the Marine Corps means to this community. I also see the value of the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort and the new Joint Strike Fighter to our future -- to the future of Beaufort County and to the future of families who would love to have their children grow into well-paying, challenging jobs in our community. As a loyal American, I truly feel the occasional disruption by jet noise is the "sound of freedom."
I agree with thousands of others who support and encourage the arrival of the new F-35B.
It will boost our economy, protect the base against future closure, and continue our long history of supporting the military. The air station contributes $615 million annually to our economy. The F-35B is right for America -- and it's right for Beaufort County.
The Navy recommends the air station receive three operational squadrons and two training squadrons. That's the right choice for the air station and the right choice for Beaufort County.
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It will lead to an additional $350 million investment in infrastructure at the air station, and several hundred civilian jobs potentially can be created as a result.
In late June, I was one of more than 700 people who attended a public meeting, almost all supporting the Joint Strike Fighter. Please do your part to help bring the F-35B squadrons to Beaufort County. Our county and our future depend on it. W. Brantley Harvey Jr.Beaufort