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McEntire hosts SC Military Base Task Force meeting

  • Published
  • By Capt. Stephen Hudson
  • 169th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The South Carolina Military Base Task Force held its quarterly meeting on McEntire JNGB to discuss key issues related to the military across the state, October 23, 2019. 

During the Task Force’s time on base, they had a chance to learn more about the mission of the base, its partnerships and impact to the military community in South Carolina. In addition to the combat airpower housed on base with both Air National Guard and Army National Guard units, the base operates as a staging hub for first-response support after large-scale natural disasters, all the while providing around-the-clock protection of the Southeast region as a homeland defense trained unit.

South Carolina’s Adjutant General, U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Van McCarty, spoke to the assembled members, welcoming them to McEntire.

”It’s good to have you here representing the military community,” McCarty said. “We are excited about what’s happening here in the South Carolina National Guard.”

The mission of the Task Force is to enhance the value of military installations and facilities as well as the quality of life for military personnel in South Carolina. The Task Force advises the Governor and General Assembly on any issues and strategies related to military base closures, realignments and mission changes.

In the state, the military has a large footprint with nine military installations, 417,515 veterans and 752 defense contractors. The annual economic impact to the South Carolina community is $24.1 billion. McEntire JNGB economic impact is nearly $180 million annually.

U.S. Air Force Col. Akshai Gandhi, commander of the 169th Fighter Wing, briefed the Task Force members on the impact of the base from a strategic military advantage and the unique mission sets on base.

“What we have here at McEntire [JNGB] is incredible,” Gandhi said. “We provide lethal mission capabilities to combatant commanders, an unwavering 24/7 homeland defense alert and response, and state-wide natural disaster life-saving support to our fellow South Carolinians.”

*January 30, 2020: a correction was made to delete a second sentence in the first paragraph that said, "The meeting of gathered Task Force members is the
first time the group has met at the base."