Florida civic leaders, including Republican Gov. Jeb Bush, feel they have been sideswiped by a surprise Air Force proposal to shift some jobs from Eglin AFB, Fla., to Edwards AFB, Calif., considering it came well after BRAC 2005 actions that left Eglin unscathed, reports Associated Press news service. They remain unmoved by the recent conciliatory visit of Gen. Bruce Carlson, commander of Air Force Materiel Command and ultimate proprietor of the jobs in question. Governor Bush told reporters Thursday that state officials have “pressed our concern, trust me.” The new threat to Eglin stems from a need by the Air Force to cut $581 million from its test and evaluation budget. AFMC has suggested that it could operate more efficiently by combining the test elements from Eglin with those at Edwards. Stay tuned, this promises to get messy.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.