KGUN 9 On Your SideNews


New DM Commander works to build local ties

Col. Scott Campbell understands DM's local impact
Posted at 6:15 PM, Sep 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-27 13:05:33-04
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The Air Force says Davis-Monthan adds more than one-point-five billion dollars to the local economy.  
So naturally we want to know more about the new boss there.
Colonel Scott Campbell just became the new wing commander responsible for more than 75 hundred airmen, three thousand civilians and one hundred aircraft.
Davis-Monthan is a huge part of our local economy, and while Colonel Campbell's main job is preparing people and planes to protect our country he's well aware of how important the base is to Tucson---and his role in what D-M's future may be.
Local civilian leaders worry if the Air Force follows through on plans to retire the A-10, D-M will become a shadow of what it is now, or maybe shut down altogether. That's led to a push to find new missions to carry the base into the future.
A lot of the future is headed towards drones. D-M is regarded as a strong candidate for an unmanned aircraft unit.  But the planes would be in some hot spot like Afghanistan, while the pilots who control them remotely would be our neighbors here.
Col. Campbell says, “One of the things that has put Davis-Monthan high on the list is a very supportive community and a community that a lot of folks really are attracted to and say, Davis-Monthan is a great base, we like the location, great community, great things to do, so that's also part of it, the quality of life piece for our remotely piloted aircraft pilots."
The Air National Guard already operates an unmanned aircraft unit at D-M.
Colonel Campbell says a new unit for unmanned planes would not have as many people as the A-10 units but could be added without removing any units at the base now.
The Colonel says he is in regular touch with leaders in local government and business to help strengthen the connections between the base and the civilian world around it.