May 2012 

SABC: Hold Pima County Government Responsible!
Published May 22, 2012

Pima County Government is not serving its constituents by opposing Rosemont Copper Mine. Instead of spending taxpayer dollars to file lawsuits to fight Rosemont Copper’s mining operations, they could be supporting a responsible industry that would bring over $700 million a year to Southern Arizona in economic benefits. Additionally, Pima County now owns approximately 90% of the county land, leaving very little for private investment. And they continue to buy land, instead of spending time and resources to support industry and repair our neglected roads. These issues and many others will be addressed by SABC over the coming months. We hope to educate people on the issues that affect their well-being now and into the future.

We welcome your questions and input as we focus on the strengths and opportunities of our region in supporting business and growth.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE 162ND FIGHTER WING and F-35 for the Tucson Community
Published May 19, 2012


AZ State Department of Commerce published a report in 2008 based on 2005 figures. That report shows economic impact of the 162nd FW was $280M. Today that number should be over $300M
The 162nd Fighter Wing has approximately 900 full time and 550 are part Guardsmen. The 214th Recognizance Group, which is a part of the 162nd FW, employs an additional 300 Guardsmen. The 162nd FW’s payroll for calendar year 2010 was $ 109M.

The 162nd FW is the 42th largest employer in Southern AZ.

The F-35 is the next generation fighter plane for the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps. The F-35 will replace the F-16, F-18, A-10, and Harrier. The F-16 is scheduled to be retired by the year 2025. If the F-35 does not go into full production, the 162nd FW wants to remain a training base for the next generation fighter jet flown by the U.S. Air Force.
Just as important, the 162nd FW benefits Tucson, Pima County, and Southern Arizona in the following ways:

EMT’s and Firemen from the 162nd FW are the first responders at Tucson International Airport (TIA) in case of an emergency.

The 162nd FW has medical teams, security personnel, and an organizational structure that are able to assist local governmental agencies in case of a natural disaster or other emergency. The 162nd FW is also designated as a secure medical depository for medicine.

The 162nd FW also provides local high school graduates, who may not have the maturity to attend college after graduation, cannot afford to go to school, or need to help with a family situation transition into a career. A guard member can learn a technical skill, earn money for college, and learn leadership skills that will help for the rest of his life.

If the F-35 is based at the 162nd FW, it will bring $176 to $188M in construction improvements to the base at TIA.

Pima County and TREO have created an Aerospace Defense Corridor that is anchored by TIA, Raytheon, and the businesses and property surrounding the airport. The FAA allocates transportation funds to airports based on air traffic (takeoffs and landings). The 162nd FW accounts for approximately seventeen (17) percent of the takeoffs and landings at TIA. Any planned improvements to TIA will be negatively affected if the mission of the 162nd FW is reduced.

With the F-35 come construction projects totaling $165M. $15M for the new entrance gate and $150M related to improvements required to support the F-35. Guardsmen do not have a PX or other commercial service businesses on base. While they have those privileges, they are more involved with local businesses and service providers.

Since 2001, one thousand five hundred and twenty-two (1,522) members of the 162nd FW have served in military operations around the world.

Twenty-five to thirty percent of the Wing’s non-commissioned officers are graduates of Tucson high schools. There are currently four Command Chief Master Sergeants (highest rank for a non-commissioned officer) in the Wing that are all graduates of Sunnyside High School

F-16 training is 20 % simulator time and 80% in the airplane. F-35 training time is 40% in the simulator and 60% in the airplane.

The 162nd FW’s has a commitment to have as little negative impact on the Tucson community as possible. They have flown six different types of single-seat, single-engine aircraft from the airport since 1956 with little to no impact on the public.

Fact that FW flies out of TIA not DM. F-35 traffic patterns will resemble those of the F-16s at TIA. The majority of landing approaches will occur west of I-10. While the Draft EIS does state that there will be increased annoyance among people near the airport, there are no issues with loss of hearing and there is no anticipated increase in safety concerns for the F-35 when compared to the F-16.

The future of the Arizona Air National Guard Base depends largely on our support.

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