There are two committees meeting every month to gather evidence that NAS Meridian is essential to the security of the nation, according to Meridian's mayor. He answered questions about the organized effort during his regular news conference Wednesday.
"Bear in mind from the very beginning the people of Meridian and Lauderdale County said, if you convince us that you can train enough strike pilots for the Navy without NAS Meridian and we are no longer needed, then we'll salute and carry out the orders of the day and be good citizens and find reuses for that base, but to this point no one has been able to show us or the Congress or the United States Navy that they can possibly do without NAS Meridian," said Mayor John Robert Smith.
The city council and the board of supervisors have been asked to contribute $25,000 each to add to money raised by the private sector for the fight. Smith said one easy way for the public to help is simply to join the Navy League. Individuals may join for a membership fee of $40.00 annually. For information about the Meridian Navy League, call 693-1306.