Community coalition seeks support to lobby for F-35C Joint Strike Fighter squadron

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       f-35-joint-strike-fighter_1024x768_18842         The Naval Air Facility – El Centro is one of two Navy bases being considered to be the homebase for the new F-35C Joint Strike Fighter squadron. Homebasing the F-35-C squadrons at NAF – El Centro would dramatically increase local jobs and the $105 million annual economic impact the base now provides the Imperial Valley. Among other things, the squadron would require 2,000 new civilian jobs and 2,500 new military jobs at NAF-El Centro.

                A community coalition that wants the Imperial Valley to get the economic benefits of homebasing the new squadron at NAF – El Centro is asking for your help. The group, Imperial Valley United for Joint Strike Fighter, was formed last year both to demonstrate that NAF –  El Centro offers the best option for the Navy and to protect it from any possible closure consideration in a future Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process.

                The coalition has created a website, www.ivunited.com , which includes considerable information about the clear advantages that NAF – El Centro offers the Navy, including 360 days a year of flying weather, close proximity to ranges, wide open spaces and good air quality.

                 As part of its homebasing selection process, the Navy will soon release its draft environmental review of NAF – El Centro and the other location being considered, the Naval Air Station, Lemoore. The Navy will weigh many factors when it decides where to homebase the new F-35C squadron, including whether a community supports the proposed development.

                With your help, the coalition can demonstrate local support for NAF – El Centro as the homebase for the new squadron. The coalition is asking for you to show your support by signing on the support page at www.ivunited.com . Or click the contact us button for more information, to participate in coalition efforts and/or to contribute to the campaign. So far local residents, businesses and community leaders have contributed more than $50,000 to the effort to get the F-35C homebased at NAF – El Centro.