The base support group for Grand Forks AFB, N.D., formed in the run-up to the last round of base closures, wants to broaden its outlook, and adopt a greater emphasis on quality-of-life issues for airmen such as school quality and spousal employment opportunities. “We need to be aware of what’s going on in our communities,” Tom Ford, coordinator of the Grand Forks Base Realignment Impact Committee, said during the group’s meeting last week. “We need to be aware of our school systems. We need to be aware of our housing, but not just aware — we need to be there when things need help or support or improvement,” Ford said, reported the Grand Forks Herald.
The adjustment comes as Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson has underlined the importance of quality-of-life issues for service members in her public appearances. Along with changing its focus, the committee is looking for a new name, or at least replacing the “R” in BRIC. “Instead of saying here’s all the reasons you shouldn’t close our base, it’s saying here’s all the reasons why our base is so important to the national defense strategy,” Ford said.
Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Johnny Saldivar