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Old September 23rd, 2010, 02:42 AM   #1
1772
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Why isn't Homestead an air force/navy town?

When I look at a map, it startles me why Homestead isn't an full-blown air force/navy town?
It's on the southeast corner of the US, with proximity to not just Cuba but the entire carribean region and northern south america.

There should be an San Diego sized navy here aswell as an full blown air force base.

If we got a military town in the south west of the US, why not the south east?
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Old September 23rd, 2010, 06:43 AM   #2
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You can thank Hurricane Andrew, August 24, 1992
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Old September 23rd, 2010, 11:12 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by umiami305 View Post
You can thank Hurricane Andrew, August 24, 1992
True. Mostly, anyway.

Homestead WAS a military town for decades, but a lot of it was wrapped up in Cold War era gamesmanship with Cuba back in the old USSR days. When that ended, so did Cuba as any kind of real importance politically (aside from electoral politics) and the military angle just faded away as unnecessary.

Andrew pretty much delivered the final blow but the base was largely being shut down anyway. After Andrew, a LOT of deep South Dade moved to Miramar and points north.

I think it's really more just a case of time passing Homestead by in that regard. The military presence there (and in South Florida generally) should probably be more plugged into a proactive Coast Guard.

What we need is to figure out an exit from the high jobless rate in deep South Dade. I'd say agriculture (just as it was--and is) but that also means a continued depopulation of that region. The AFB is gone and isn't coming back.

Homestead is a special case. I think we should stop worrying about how many people live there and think more about bulldozing some of those empty subdivisions back into active farmland.

Last edited by spellbound; September 23rd, 2010 at 11:41 AM.
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Old September 23rd, 2010, 12:31 PM   #4
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It's an Air Reserve base now but it was Hurricane Andrew that finally did it in.
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Old September 23rd, 2010, 12:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1772 View Post
When I look at a map, it startles me why Homestead isn't an full-blown air force/navy town?
It's on the southeast corner of the US, with proximity to not just Cuba but the entire carribean region and northern south america.

There should be an San Diego sized navy here aswell as an full blown air force base.

If we got a military town in the south west of the US, why not the south east?
Jacksonville is the largest military town closest to South Florida and is considered the Southeast's version of San Diego. I believe the Navy has a small command in South Florida that is used to support the various maritime operations in the Carribbean and South America. Don't forget, there are a couple of Air Force bases located in Central Florida as well.
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Old September 23rd, 2010, 03:36 PM   #6
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It was back in the 80's when I used to live in South Dade. Just about everyone either worked on the base or in some way was connected to servicing it which is one of the main reasons the far south Dade region was so devestated following Andrew and the subsequent closing of the base. Not only did many of the people in the area lose their homes in the storm, they lost their jobs as well. The area around the base still has not even come close to recovering and probably never will return to being the solid middle class area it once was.
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Old September 23rd, 2010, 04:58 PM   #7
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Sure, Andrew was a big blow, but is that a reason to shut it down?
Should we shut down New Orleans after Katrina? Hmm...

Cuba isn't a problem after the fall of the USSR but it's still a was region that can't be ignored.
Venezuela and Colombia is at the southern end of the carribean sea, you never know what could happen there. Jacksonville is to far away.

AND we might just get an "NCIS: Miami"
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Old September 23rd, 2010, 06:02 PM   #8
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There is Naval Air Station Key West and Naval Air Station Pensacola; and also Air Force bases in Melbourne, the Tampa area, and the Panhandle to go along with Jacksonville's military presence.
It wasn't just because of Cuba, the end of the Cold War saw a huge draw down of military bases throughout the country, the military had become bloated, most bases were more likely to be shut down than stay open. Many major Naval operations on the East Coast were moved to Norfolk, already the world's largest Naval base. The Clinton administration sped up the cuts already being made, cutting back the Regan era military drastically, but necessarily. Andrew moved Homestead to 0% chance of survival.
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Old September 23rd, 2010, 07:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1772 View Post
Sure, Andrew was a big blow, but is that a reason to shut it down?
Should we shut down New Orleans after Katrina? Hmm...

Cuba isn't a problem after the fall of the USSR but it's still a was region that can't be ignored.
Venezuela and Colombia is at the southern end of the carribean sea, you never know what could happen there. Jacksonville is to far away.

AND we might just get an "NCIS: Miami"
If we can send troops half way around the world I'm sure the military can manage without having a base in Homestead.
As for Venezuela & Colombia what problems can the possibly pose to the US?
Besides I think we've meddled way too much in other nation's affairs anyways.
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Old September 23rd, 2010, 09:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobdreamz View Post
If we can send troops half way around the world I'm sure the military can manage without having a base in Homestead.
As for Venezuela & Colombia what problems can the possibly pose to the US?
Besides I think we've meddled way too much in other nation's affairs anyways.
Agreed...and it would make no sense at all economically from a national perspective.

Either way, it's a moot issue. Homestead AFB is gone forever.
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Old September 23rd, 2010, 11:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLAWDA-FELLA View Post
Jacksonville is the largest military town closest to South Florida and is considered the Southeast's version of San Diego. I believe the Navy has a small command in South Florida that is used to support the various maritime operations in the Carribbean and South America. Don't forget, there are a couple of Air Force bases located in Central Florida as well.
I think technological advances are a factor as well in terms of surveillance and mobilization. All these other bases can get operations in place faster than ever before, so I think an AFB at Homestead now is considered redundant and not worth the additional cost of maintenance.
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Old September 24th, 2010, 12:24 AM   #12
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Funny, today I met someone up here in Jacksonville that lived down in Homestead because the AFB. She also said after Andrew she left. She's never been back.

BTW, what exactly is SOUTHCOM in Doral? Is that just a bunch of military offices? I've met more than a few people who have moved down to Miami because of the US Southern Command. I just assumed it was some sort of base, but it's obviously not.
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Old September 24th, 2010, 03:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hia-leah JDM View Post
Funny, today I met someone up here in Jacksonville that lived down in Homestead because the AFB. She also said after Andrew she left. She's never been back.

BTW, what exactly is SOUTHCOM in Doral? Is that just a bunch of military offices? I've met more than a few people who have moved down to Miami because of the US Southern Command. I just assumed it was some sort of base, but it's obviously not.
The US Military is organized into "commands". Central Command is in charge of all military operations in the Middle East. AFRICOM is in charge of all operations in Africa...etc. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) is in charge of all military operations in South and Central America. Its probably one of the smallest commands simply due to the fact that the US doesn't have a large military presence in South and Central America right now.

From wikipedia:
Quote:
USSOUTHCOM is a joint command[1] of more than 1,200 military and civilian personnel representing the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and several other federal agencies. Civilians working at USSOUTHCOM are, for the most part, civilian employees of the Army, as the Army is USSOUTHCOM's Combatant Command Support Agent.
Btw just to compare with Homestead AFB at its peak, as late as 1990 when draw downs had already taken their toll, over 5000 people still lived on the base. Thousands more worked there but lived off base.
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