Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

June 27, 2014

Moody’s new mission

VALDOSTA — Congressman Austin Scott’s Wednesday announcement regarding Moody Air Force Base’s “preferred location” status for the A-29 Light Air Support training mission is good news for South Georgia.

If Moody receives the expected official confirmation in the coming weeks, the base will host a year-plus mission to train 90 Afghanistan pilots and 30 maintenance personnel on the A-29 LAS aircraft.

With the Air Force proposal to discontinue using the A-10s and the expectation that Moody will lose several hundred personnel and their families as part of force-reduction mandates, Moody’s viability as a base depends on the possibility of new missions.

We should never take Moody Air Force Base for granted, neither in terms of the sacrifices made by its personnel nor in the base’s impact on our community.

As noted recently by the South Georgia Military Affairs Council, Moody touches the lives of everyone living in the Greater Valdosta area and in the surrounding counties. This impact ranges from Moody personnel purchasing and renting property to the number of children in our schools to items purchased from local businesses to taxes paid to area governments.

The idea of no Moody Air Force Base is unfathomable, but even limited imaginations can foresee how dire such a loss would be for South Georgia.

So, the new mission is good news for our region. It could well mean that the Air Force and Washington see as much value to the base as we value it here.

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