Making the Pitch:

Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Clark Griffith thinks Keesler AFB, Miss., would be a great choice to host the new Air Force Cyber Command. Griffith, who left the Air Force in 1998, is promoting the base and made his pitch before the Biloxi City Council on Jan. 22, South Mississippi’s Sun Herald reported yesterday. Griffith reportedly told the council that securing the new command would be a major coup for Biloxi and Mississippi, “as big as any Nissan plant, Toyota plant” or large casino project. Indeed, it would bring up to 10,000 jobs to the city, including several generals, about 500 “high-salary, high-ranking” officials and thousands of civilian employees, he said, according to the newspaper. Keesler is one of 16 finalists to host Air Force Cyber Command, but Griffith considers it among the top five contenders, the newspaper said. The other four: Langley AFB, Va.; Offutt AFB, Neb.; Peterson AFB, Colo.; and Barksdale AFB, La., already host major commands. Griffith said Keesler has “the lowest cost of living of the commands in the running.” And while it is in a hurricane zone and was damaged in Hurricane Katrina, Griffith said it “never lost connectivity to the outside world” since its communications infrastructure is situated underground. The Air Force’s decision could come in March, the newspaper said.