Defense bill not a setback

Published 3:04 pm Saturday, October 24, 2009

When the next annual national defense policy bill reaches President Obama’s desk, it will not be the bill that Congressman Randy Forbes, R-Va., and Outlying Landing Field opponents were hoping for.

That’s because the Senate removed an amendment that Forbes attached to the bill that would have made local governments the ultimate arbiters over whether an OLF was built within their jurisdictions.

It was worth a shot. But it’s not the end of the debate.

The Navy still has to decide whether or not its new fighter plane, the F-35, will be based at Naval Air Station Oceana. It also needs to decide whether Oceana should remain the Master Jet Base on the East Coast.

Both of these are some pretty serious issues that need to be worked out. If anything, the Navy’s admission in August that it still must come to a decision on these two matters mean that it faces an even trickier navigation to building an OLF anywhere.

However the debate shakes out, we are thankful to have Randy Forbes representing our citizens in Congress. He has our interests at heart, and should be commended for his efforts to have that legislation enacted.