Lowndes County residents breathed a sigh of relief when Moody Air Force Base escaped the BRAC closure list, but the BRAC proposal to move the training missions from Moody and bring in the A-10s will cause the immediate loss of at least 400 contract and civilian jobs.
Dave Craft has lived in Valdosta on and off for the past 25 years. After serving in the military, he now maintains the T-6s and T-38s used in Moody's training missions.
"I grew up just south of here and spent three tours of duty here when I was active duty here, so this is home."
There are 400 additional civilian and contract workers at Moody Air Force Base just like Dave whose future is now uncertain after reading the fine lines of the BRAC recommendation.
Don Williams, civilian contractor, says, "What this means in reality is about 350 to 400 contract employees and Air Force civilian employees are going to be out of a job if this actually happens."
He's talking about BRAC's recommendation to bring in the A-10 aircrafts to Moody and move the training missions elsewhere, eliminating several hundred jobs, but in order to stay in the community they call home, civilian workers say they may be forced to take a job that pays smaller wages.
Dave Craft says, "Most of those are well paying jobs that aren't available in Valdosta or the area really. A lot of people are going to go to Atlanta, Jacksonville, or follow the airplanes to the other cities."
But nothing is set in stone until President Bush makes the final recommendation in November. Until then, these civilian workers will continue to hope and pray for a happy ending at home.
The BRAC report states the recommendation could result in a total loss of almost 1,200 jobs, which is more than one percent of the economic area employment.
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