Spearheaded by Arizona State Senator Steve Smith, and Reps. Sonny Borelli and Mark Finchem, the Arizona Legislature passed HCR2007, in support of Davis Monthan Air Force Base and the A-10.
Smith, chair of the Public Safety, Military and Technology Committee, and Borelli, chair of the House Military Affairs and Public Safety Committee held hearings on the issue in which they were briefed by Joint Terminal Attack Controllers, and former A-10 pilot, Lt. Colonel (Retired) Thomas Norris. The men reported on the impact mothballing would have on troops as well as the economic impact the state would suffer if Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson was targeted for closure.
The resolution reads:
Whereas, our nation’s highly trained and capable military requires flexible and diverse training in an environment that is conducive to the wide range of missions encountered throughout the world; and
Whereas, the State of Arizona maintains some of this nation’s most valuable military training facilities, including Fort Huachuca, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Luke Air Force Base and the Barry M. Goldwater range; and
Whereas, established in February 1877 and located in Cochise County about 15 miles north of the Mexican border, Fort Huachuca is Arizona’s oldest active military installation; and
Whereas, Fort Huachuca is home of the United States Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, the Army’s premier military intelligence training center, and the United States Army Network Enterprise Technology Command, headquarters for the Army’s worldwide network operations and defense mission; and
Whereas, Fort Huachuca is also the headquarters of the Defense Information Systems Agency Joint Interoperability Test Command and the United States Army Electronic Proving Ground and operates in the Army’s premier open air testing range, the Buffalo Soldier Electronic Test Range; and
Whereas, Fort Huachuca is home to the largest joint unmanned aircraft system training and operations base supporting Army, Marine, Homeland Security and Arizona Air National Guard platforms out of Libby Army Airfield; and
Whereas, Fort Huachuca was declared a national landmark in 1976; and
Whereas, in 2010, a study by Cochise College estimated the total economic impact of Fort Huachuca on Cochise County to be $2.4 billion; and
Whereas, established in 1925 as Davis-Monthan Landing Field near Tucson, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base is the headquarters of the Twelfth Air Force, responsible for the combat readiness of ten active-duty wings and three direct reporting units in the western United States; and
Whereas, the fighter and bomber wings of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base possess 430 aircraft and more than 33,000 active-duty military and civilian personnel. The 3rd Combat Communications Squadron, 820th Redhorse Squadron and 1st Air Support Operations Group direct reporting units comprise more than 1,200 people and provide unrivaled expertise in expeditionary communication, engineering and air liaison. They also ensure the operational readiness of 12th Air Force, four Air Force Reserve wings and thirteen Air National Guard wings, featuring an additional 18,800 people and more than 260 aircraft; and
Whereas, including the effect of local military retirees, Davis-Monthan officials say the base pumped $1.47 billion into the Tucson-area economy in fiscal year 2013; and
Whereas, established in 1941, Luke Air Force Base is named after the first aviator to be awarded the Medal of Honor, 2d Lt. Frank Luke Jr., who was born in Phoenix in 1897; and
Whereas, Luke Air Force Base houses the largest fighter wing in the United States Air Force with 138 F-16s assigned; and
Whereas, the host command at Luke Air Force Base is the 56th Fighter Wing, which is under Air Education and Training Command. The wing is composed of five groups and the Range Management Office and twenty-eight squadrons, including seven fighter squadrons; and
Whereas, the 54th Fighter Group is located at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, but it is under the operational control of the 56th Fighter Wing commander at Luke Air Force Base; and
Whereas, approximately 300 pilots train at Luke Air Force Base annually and proceed to combat assignments throughout the world. The 56th Fighter Wing also trains more than 350 maintenance technicians each year; and
Whereas, Luke Air Force Base provides approximately two billion dollars annually to the local economy; and
Whereas, the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range, formerly known as Luke Air Force Range, consists of 1.9 million acres of relatively undisturbed Sonoran Desert lands southwest of Luke Air Force Base between Yuma and Tucson, south of Interstate 8; and
Whereas, overhead the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range are 57,000 cubic miles of airspace where pilots practice air-to-air maneuvers and engage simulated battlefield targets on the ground; and
Whereas, roughly the size of Connecticut, the immense size of the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range complex allows for simultaneous training activities on nine air-to-ground and two air-to-air ranges. The Luke Air Force Base Range Management Office manages the eastern range activities and Marine Corps Air Station Yuma oversees operations on the western portion.
Be it resolved by the Senate of the State of Arizona, the House of Representatives concurring:
That the Members of the Legislature express their continued support for and acknowledge the extreme importance of Arizona’s military facilities.