The Main Stream

Dec 21, 2011 6:59 PM

Davis-Monthan a finalist for new squadron

TUCSON - Davis-Monthan Air Force Base is one of three finalists for a new mission. If selected, the Reaper Squadron would remotely operate drones overseas from Tucson.

Two other bases, one in Hawaii and the other in South Carolina are being considered for the project.

On Wednesday, Jonathan Rothschild, the mayor of Tucson held a joint press conference with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords office to announce their support for the mission. The congresswoman, mayor and dozens of other local, and state leaders have written letters requesting that Tucson be selected. Rothschild said the squadron would have a major economic impact on the area bringing in more than 280 jobs, also, "a construction component to it. It will require a new headquarters building and other facilities," he explained.

DM 50, a support group for airmen and their families said the squadron would compliment the base, "to try and keep the base the way it is there are multiple missions out there and multiple groups and organizations there and we want to keep all knowing that there is going to be some budget cuts and we're working hard from that point of view," said Tom Murphy, the group's president.

Ron Barber, Giffords' district director said the congresswoman is committed to supporting the military, "make sure protect the assets that we have here and try to bring new missions here and that's essentially what this effort is all about."

A decision could be made as early as January or February.

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