Craig Field Looses Air Force Program

Wayne Vardaman is with the Selma/Dallas County  Ecconomic Development Authority.  He  says  "Selma's economic demise started with the closing of craig field. If we could have gotten this project, to the community it would have meant, in their case the base was opening back up.

But the air force air training and education command did not give the initial flight screening program to lockheed and craig field.

Vardaman says, "Any time you spend 2 years working on a project, it is disappointing."

Even the townspeople gathered to plant, cut grass, rake and spruce up Craig field in hopes of getting the program.

Menzo Driskell is with the Craig Field Industrial Authority.  He says, "When this window closed another window will open for us as a matter of fact yesterday afternoon when we were at the center for commerce talking, we got a call from the Alabama Development Office and we're off and running on a new chase."

And there are lessons learned according to Vardaman.   "We learned that we could compete on big projects. We learned that we could sit at the table and talk with somebody as big as Lockheed Martin."

And the track record here is pretty good.

"We have big fortune 500 companies here we have Louisana Pacific, we have L3 aerospace, which use to be Raytheon and Beech. We've got Lear corporation here."

Vardaman:  "Our success is not going to die along with this project."

Now there are new irons in the fire which may be forged at a later time.

Reporter:  Ashley Anderson