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The Importance of L.A.'s Air Force Base

The Jan. 20 editorial, “L.A.'s Air War,” correctly recognized the importance of Los Angeles Air Force Base to the economy of Southern California and our national defense. Having been stationed at the base in the 1990s, I know firsthand the uniquely critical contributions the base makes to national security. Much of what the military has up in space today is a result of the activities of the base.

The editorial stated that California’s congressional delegation must do the “heavy lifting” to protect the base. However, there is an additional individual who can have enormous influence on the base closure process: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Time is short. Individuals can also help support the effort to save the base. To learn more, please access www.laafballiance.com.

Ted W. Lieu

Councilman, Torrance

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While Congress continues implementing its long-term plan to reduce military bases and facilities across the country, here in California a move is underway to save every operation and convince the public we depend on these mostly unnecessary military venues.

Instead, California should embrace this downsizing, negotiate with the Pentagon to transfer most of the bases to state property and consider efforts to take advantage of this rare opportunity.

Some military facilities like L.A. Air Force Base should not be abandoned. But for the most part, California will benefit if former bases become available for public use. This could include preservation and open space, business and technology parks devoted to environmental invention and new healthful products, land for generating solar energy and wind farms, or space to build community colleges and state universities.

Chuck Levin

Los Angeles


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