Recent reports that a unit at March Air Reserve Base may be closed have Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez and Second District Supervisor Karen Spiegel launching a pre-emptive strike.
The duo on Tuesday, June 4 will recommend that the Board of Supervisors enroll Riverside County in the Association of Defense Communities in Washington, D.C. for an annual fee of $450.
The Association of Defense Communities is the connection point for leaders from communities, states and the military industry on community-military issues and installation management. Recent reports that a unit at March Air Reserve Base may be closed means Riverside County must be engaged and at the table before cuts are proposed or made to local military bases and installations, Perez and Spiegel maintain in their recommendation. The Association has approximately 300 member organizations; two-thirds of them are county, city and state members.
March Air Reserve Base is located in the Fifth Supervisorial District, and the Naval Surface Warfare Center, is located in the Second Supervisorial District. Riverside is also host to the National Guard, Navy, Army, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard Reserve operations.
Combined, these military bases, installations and units have a direct economic impact of approximately $1.5 billion dollars to the county’s economy. This figure does not include the indirect economic impacts of the military bases. The Department of Defense also reports that approximately 900 defense contractors operate in the county of Riverside and many of its incorporated cities.
March Air Reserve Base is one of the oldest airfields operated by the United States military.
Perez’s and Spiegel’s recommendation also calls for:
- assigning the Deputy CEO of Legislative Affairs to be the primary point of contact with the Association of Defense Communities Executive Team;
- the chairman of the Board of Supervisors to designate two members of the Board to serve as primary and alternate representatives to the Association of Defense Communities in Washington D.C. and, when necessary, attend meetings as their schedules permit;
- Advising the County’s lobbyists in Washington D.C. and Sacramento of the county’s membership in the Association of Defense Communities and ensure that the team make contact with the Legislative Director of the Association of Defense Communities and work with ADC when directed or when appropriate;
- that the CEO, COO and Deputy CEO of Legislative Affairs may from time to time ask various county departments or agencies for information and assistance related to defense and military installations and said agencies shall be permitted and authorized to participate in Association of Defense Community activities as necessary.
Perez has now partnered with all four of his colleagues on military and veterans affairs.
- March Field: Air Force Inns