Utah's U.S. Senator Mike Lee held town meetings throughout Northern Utah this week. UPR's Kerry Bringhurst was at Wednesday night's meeting in Logan and spoke first hand with some of Lee's constituents, who are concerned about the growing federal deficit, federal control of public lands, and the future of Northern Utah's Hill Air Force Base.
Former Political Science professor at Utah State University and Nibley resident, James Waite remembers when the Richard Gebaur Military Base closed while he was living in Kansas City, Missouri:
"The bottom line is we want a sound defense, we want to use the investment that's been made here in Utah. It makes sense to keep it and I want to make sure we keep it. "
Lee has been serving in the Senate for less than 2 years and Waite says he is worried that if Senator Hatch loses his seat in the upcoming primary, Utah will not have the seniority needed to guarantee the future of the base:
"My concern is that with a junior senator and a possibility of second junior senator, Utah will lose its possibility to have access to decision making that will affect particularly national defense."
Senator Lee addressed the issue at the town hall meeting in Logan:
"Hill Air Force Base is going to survive first and foremost not because of me or any other one elected politician, but because of the good men and women at Hill Air Force Base and because of the great things they do there. Hill Air Force Base is the ideal location for the F-35."
The Air Force has recommended Hill AFB to become home to at least one wing of the F-35, which Lee says will keep the base online for now.