HAMPTON, Va. – (WAVY) Hampton Roads is closer than ever to seeing hundreds of new military jobs.
Joint Base Langley-Eustis made it through another round of Air Force consideration for the spot to build a new mission support center. In September, the Air Force narrowed it down to 10 finalists. Wednesday night, the air force announced the base was in the final four.
In July, Virginia’s U.S. senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine said they were deeply concerned about an air force worldwide re-organization plan. It cut nearly 800 jobs in Hampton Roads. The Air Force said more than 500 positions at the base were cut due to management headquarters review. The rest of the positions were trimmed to help create a new installation and mission support center.
The Air Force says the new consolidated headquarters would help bring down costs and help it re-invest that money into other important strategy programs.
“The new AFIMSC aligns Air Force-wide installation support authorities, responsibilities and resources under one accountable commander,” Timothy K. Bridges, the deputy assistant secretary for installations said in a statement. “The consolidation will drive standardized processes, eliminate overhead and drive down costs. It makes good business sense to centralize installation support the way we already centralize other support functions such as science and technology, test and sustainment.”
Thursday morning, senators Warner and Kaine praised the Air Force’s selection of Joint Base-Langley-Eustis as a finalist for a new Air Force support center.
Warner wrote in a statement, ““Langley-Eustis and the Hampton Roads region offer tremendous benefits, including a highly skilled workforce, access to first-rate facilities, and unmatched quality of service for military men and women and their families,”said Warner. “I am pleased Langley has earned a spot as a finalist as a result of the Air Force evaluation.”
Senator Kaine added, “Joint Base Langley-Eustis has the ideal combination of a supportive community, extensive Air Force presence, and existing commands to ensure the success of this new Air Force center,” said Kaine. “The Secretary of the Air Force should select Joint Base Langley-Eustis as the final location of this important support center.”
The new center would bring 350 jobs to the area.
The Air Force says it will choose its final location for the new support headquarters in January after on site surveys of each base.
Joint Base in San Antonio, Texas, Scott Air Force Base in Illinois and Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio are also candidates to potentially host the headquarters for the new Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center.