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NEWS | Aug. 29, 2012

S.C. Military Base Task Force team visits JB Charleston

By Senior Airman Anthony Hyatt Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Ten members from the South Carolina Military Base Task Force visited Joint Base Charleston - Air Base and Weapons Station Aug. 21 - 22.

Ian Headley, Kelly Long and Lydia Morgan-Westlake, representatives from U.S. Senator Jim DeMint's office, Scott Jaillette and Jessica Phillips-Tyson, representatives from U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham's office, Jennifer DeCasper, representative from U.S. Representative Tim Scott's office, Larry Ward, representative from U.S. Representative Jim Clyburn's office, Josh Dix, representative from U.S. Representative Trey Gowdy's office, Eric Bedingfield, representative from U.S. Representative Mick Mulvaney's office and Brian Flynn, representative from U.S. Representative Joe Wilson's office, received a tour of the Air Base and Weapons Station, along with Team Charleston leadership.

The Task Force's visit began with a mission and vision brief conducted at the JB Charleston headquarters by Col. Richard McComb, Joint Base Charleston commander, and Col. Erik Hansen, 437th Airlift Wing commander.

A windshield tour of the Air Base followed the mission brief. The Task Force observed the 628th Civil Engineer Squadron complex, the 628th CES Fire Station One, the Flight line Support Facility, the 15/33 Runway Project and a C-17 Globemaster III static display.

The tour also brought the visitors to the Weapons Station to receive mission briefs at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, Air Traffic Control, Vehicular Integrated Solutions Facility, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center and the Interagency Operations Center.

"When you see a C-17 Globemaster III fly overhead, you are reminded of the air mobility mission here in Charleston, but because our other mission partners are less visible, it is easy to overlook their unique and vital contributions, including, but not limited to nuclear training, research and development, munitions, land and sea transport," said CAPT Thomas Bailey, Joint Base Charleston deputy commander. "Today's tour of both the Air Base and Weapons Station sides of the Joint Base gave us a chance to explain to our congressional staffers what happens at our various commands and the importance of Joint Base Charleston to both the Low Country economy and to our nation's security."

The S.C. Military Base Task Force looks for ways to enhance the value of military installations and facilities and the quality of life for military personnel located in South Carolina. The "Task Force" assists military communities with value enhancement, addresses the various incentives to military personnel assigned to South Carolina, coordinates the efforts of the military communities and provides other methods and incentives to accomplish these purposes, according to Executive Order 2011-21

Executive Order 2011-21 also states that the Task Force coordinates efforts among the public and the private sectors to maintain a significant U.S. Department of Defense presence in South Carolina. The Task Force also advises Governor Nikki Haley on any issues and strategies related to military base closures, realignments and mission changes.

"The S.C. Military Task Force works collectively, as a state, on military issues to ensure that the community is supporting our local military installations," said Mary Graham, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce senior vice president business advocacy. "Many of these Washington-based congressional staffers have never visited South Carolina's military installations. And because they oftentimes are working issues related to our base, this visit was especially important since it not only gave them the opportunity to tour the base first-hand but also to gain a better understanding of the various missions at Joint Base Charleston."