C-17 Critical To Protecting Jobs And Homeland Security

Supervisor Don Knabe, Chairman of the Los Angles County Board of Supervisors, denounced a decision by Defense Secretary Robert Gates to end purchases of the C-17 cargo aircraft after 2010.

Knabe will be calling on his colleagues on the Board of Supervisors in opposing the suspension of the C-17 program by introducing a formal motion of opposition next week.

At a time when the Federal Government is pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into efforts to protect jobs and shore-up the economy, it is counterproductive and foolhardy to cut a program that employs 5,000 people at the C-17 plant in Long Beach and another 30,000 people at supplier facilities across the nation, said Knabe.

Beyond the economic impact from losing these jobs, the C-17 continues to prove that it is needed in the battlefield. Now we need to continue the fight in the political battlefield. This airborne workhorse is critical to U.S. forces and to our homeland security. The C-17 has shown its value many times in Iraq and Afghanistan and its usefulness closer to home during disaster relief missions.