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NM lieutenant governor weighs in on controversial F-16 training missions

Marian Camacho
December 13, 2017 06:47 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – New Mexico’s lieutenant governor is weighing in on the Air Force’s proposal to expand fighter jet training missions over the Gila National Forest.

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The Air Force is looking to fly F-16 missions over the wilderness near Silver City, which has created some controversy.

Lt. Gov. John Sanchez says more airspace is needed in order to effectively train current and future combat pilots and optimizing southern New Mexico’s airspace is crucial not only to the defense of the nation, but to the state’s economy.

“This airspace is essential to support the expanding F-16 training mission which will generate long term and sustainable job growth throughout New Mexico,” said Sanchez.

Sanchez argues that the training flights will not encroach on or limit any activities on the ground below, which has been a concern of some residents living in the area.

He says the mission at Holloman would bring more than 600 direct jobs, thousands of regional employment opportunities and more than $400 million in economic impact to New Mexico.

Read the entire letter here.

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Marian Camacho

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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