Let me state up-front that I agree wholeheartedly with the basic premise of Belleville News-Democrat’s recent National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency editorial. Locating the new NGA-West campus in St. Clair County makes good sense.
Let’s not muddy the waters with unfounded theories and half truths when a sound case for St. Clair County has already been made.
The past BRAC report proposes NGA’s move but recommends they relocate “on” Scott, not in a corn field close by.
There’s significance in being “on base,” as opposed to near it, when it comes to security. Contrary to BNDs assertion, NGA’s main campus is near Ft. Belvoir, Virginia, not actually on post. NGA-West would need (want?) standalone security since it would not be inside Scott’s perimeter fence.
BND comments like, “Scott consumed much of the NGA’s intelligence then, and uses even more now,” mislead readers into thinking that Scott is their primary customer. NGA has a vast worldwide customer base. In that regard, data cable connectivity between Scott and NGA’s Missouri locations is really a small cog in a big wheel.
“The highly educated workforce is already here, along with open land for housing and good schools for NGA’s growth,” is relevant regardless of which side of the river NGA-West lands. If you plotted the current residences of NGA employees on a map you’d find a large number already reside in St. Clair County.
The BND is not a bakery; don’t sugar coat.
Bill Malec, O’Fallon