Every shot makes somebody happy:
A South Carolina congressman has stepped up efforts to convince the Navy to move fighter jet squadrons from Virginia to Beaufort Marine Corps Air Station.
U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., says the Marine base has the space to accommodate F-18 Hornets from Oceana Naval Air Station should the Navy decide the base has become too crowded by development.
The competition for Oceana’s operations has continued even though Florida this month rejected a return to the former Cecil Field Naval Air Station.
I wonder what that news is doing for the Beaufort real estate market?
Seriously though, the issue of encroachment at Oceana and at Fentriss, it’s outlying field where carrier practice landings occur is not going away. Developers have built McMansions up to the base fence and on high-risk approach and departure corridors, then shown and sold them to ingenues on weekends (when no one is flying) who then turn about and complain about all the noise. A recent base closure and re-alignment commission re-ignited the issue by calling out the suburban press, and the Jacksonville voters have moved on since Cecil Field closed down in Florida – they’re not interested either, not with the bill that with bringing the Navy back.
“Not in my backyard,” is the usual cry, even as people move their backyards to approach the nuisance. But Beaufort, South Carolina is throwing open their arms in southern hospitality even though the move would cost someone north of $500 million in capital improvements to host the new squadrons. Which, considering the $770 million annual payroll that such a move would bring, might be a smart investment for a sleepy southern town looking for a little of the federal.