Op-Ed: F-35 Critical to Good Jobs and U.S. Defense

Continued funding for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is essential to a strong economy and national defense, says an op-ed written by IAM District 725, Huntington Beach, CA, Organizing Director Brian Miller in the Hanford Sentinel.

“With Congress soon to debate cuts mandated in the congressional budget sequester, many believe deep cuts to defense programs such as the F-35 are essential to lowering the debt,” wrote Miller. “While I agree that a balanced approach to deficit reduction is necessary, slashing programs that provide good-paying American jobs is shortsighted and takes us in the wrong direction.

“California significantly benefits from the F-35’s development and production. The Golden State is home to nearly 300 manufacturers that produce more than 27,000 direct and indirect jobs and have an economic impact of more than $6 billion on our state. With California still struggling to climb out of recession, cuts to this important program are ill-founded and counterproductive.”

“Not only is the F-35 program important to our economy,” continues Miller, “but it also plays a key role in maintaining the safety of our troops around the world, supporting our strategic allies and protecting our democratic way of life here at home. The working men and women who help build this aircraft are playing a vital role in keeping this generation and our children’s generation safe, and they deserve our support.”

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To read the op-ed in its entirety, click here.