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letters | state mounts offensive over defense sector

Mass. military bases play crucial role in innovation, economy

Otis Air Force Base was targeted for shutdown by a federal commission in 2005, but it was saved from closure after a bipartisan group of state leaders testified against the proposal.

David L. Ryan/Globe Staff/File 2005

Otis Air Force Base was targeted for shutdown by a federal commission in 2005, but it was saved from closure after a bipartisan group of state leaders testified against the proposal.

Your article about the Massachusetts defense sector (“New players, game plan as region’s clout wanes”) did a disservice to the state’s effort to preserve and grow this vital part of our economy.

Massachusetts companies, academic institutions, and teaching hospitals annually secure billions of dollars in competitively bid awards through the Department of Defense. This funding fuels innovation and education, and leads to technological breakthroughs benefiting the Defense Department and the nation.

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The Bay State’s military bases play a crucial role. They serve as incubators for this success, and base officials provide a key link to help make connections throughout the military. Without our bases, these links would be lost and our overall economy would be worse off.

Our congressional delegation, especially House Armed Services Committee member Niki Tsongas, and the Patrick administration should be credited with going on the offensive with the military bond bill to grow our defense economy.

My firm and I work directly with the defense sector in Massachusetts and New England and see states in the South and Midwest use their military bases as competitive assets to attract business. Let’s continue to use our innovative defense-related strengths to keep the entire Massachusetts economy strong.

Joseph M. Donovan

Canton

The writer is cochairman of the defense working group of the New England Council, of which he is a member.

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