With a ballooning national debt and the threat of a future BRAC round, Virginia’s Hampton Roads region should seek to expand its cluster of defense missions. “This [defense] is an asset,” said Old Dominion University economist Vinod Agarwal. “We should not ignore the assets we have,” said Agarwal, who spoke to the Virginian-Pilot following the release of ODU’s 2018 State of the Region report. At the same time, the region should strive to lower its reliance on defense spending.
Craig Quigley, executive director of the Hampton Roads Military and Federal Facilities Alliance, told WVEC that local leaders have “done everything possible” to strengthen the region’s installations ahead of a possible round of base closures. “The public school system, the surface transportation system, collaborative efforts to mitigate sea level rise,” Quigley said. “There are more efforts going on that I can point to, to make sure that we show that we value these installations, and they are a part of who we are as Hampton Roads.”
Photo by Steve Earley