Cong. Duncan Hunter from California, who is chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, was taken on a tour of Naval Air Station Meridian by local leaders and Navy officers ending with an inspection of a new T-45.
At the conclusion, Hunter indicated his support of naval air power and his respect for the work being done in Meridian.
"The efficiency of our pilots in these last operations in Afghanistan and Iraq have been absolutely superb and a lot of that is attributable to the great work that goes on right here," said Hunter. "It's going to be a truth for a long time to come that the production of naval pilots is absolutely essential and key to America's military superiority. We dominate the air. One reason we dominate the air in any theatre in the world is because of this naval training station."
Hunter expressed optimism about the future of NAS Meridian.
"You have kept the base modernized, and I think, are in a very strong position to compete during the next round of base closings. Nobody's got any guarantees in this next round of base closings but number one you've got extremely important missions here and number two, you've got obviously a very efficient base," said Hunter.
Hunter last visited NAS Meridian six years ago.
"I do believe that NAS Meridian is in good position. We have modernized. We have good infrastructure. We have great facilities and we have great leadership in the community and here at the base," said