EL CENTRO – â€œI am truly overwhelmed by the citizens of the Imperial County,â€ Brad Luckey told the Board of Supervisors Tuesday morning. Luckey was referring to the letter writing campaign his team, the Imperial Valley United for Joint Strike Fighter for home-basing the Navyâ€™s newest jet fleet, the F-35C, spearheaded.
Â Luckey said every chamber, every city, many departments at county, county itself, businesses, and citizens responded to the call to write the navy and plead the case for housing the next generation fighter jet at NAF El Centro.
There was even a signature drive and those petitions will be bundled and sent with the letters.
The Navy has narrowed the decision down to two bases in California for the West Coast, NAS Lemoore and NAF El Centro.Â According to Luckey, â€œIf the Navy bases the Joint Strike Fighter at NAF El Centro, there would be hundreds of new high payingÂ jobs inÂ our region, an enhanced quality of life and assured long term survival of our base.â€
â€œIt is a sense of pride and accomplishment, which I can share with the whole valley, on what we have done. This is a feather in your cap.Â Without the funds you donated, we could not have done this.â€ Â Luckey thanked the Board for their past donations as well as the use of support staff.
The board has approved another $10,000 to the Imperial Valley United for Joint Strike Fighter fund to continue stage II.
Luckey mentioned Stage I encompassed the comment stage, now they will shift gears and step it up a notch toward the political side. There will be several trips to Washington D.C. to speak to the decision-makers and the Valleys representatives, according to Luckey.