Nebraska Bill Seeks to Preserve Offutt Air Force Base

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Keith Thompson, 55th Security Forces Squadron, checks Identification at the remodeled and expanded Strategic Command Gate on Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., March 5, 2013. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Josh Plueger)
U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Keith Thompson, 55th Security Forces Squadron, checks Identification at the remodeled and expanded Strategic Command Gate on Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., March 5, 2013. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Josh Plueger)

LINCOLN, Neb. -- A Nebraska lawmaker has introduced a bill designed to preserve Offutt Air Force Base amid fears that its deteriorating runway could cause the 55th Wing to leave.

Sen. Sue Crawford of Bellevue proposed legislation Wednesday that would create a Military and Veterans Commission. The commission would serve as a point of contact among elected officials, business leaders and the military.

Crawford says the commission will help the state become more proactive with its military interests. Offutt is a major employer in the Omaha area.

The bill has won support from the Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership. Jeff Mikesell, a lobbyist for the group, says Nebraska needs to stay competitive with other states in defending its military installations.

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