AV Named as a 2022 “Great American Defense Community”

PALMDALE, Calif. — The Association of Defense Communities recently announced that the Antelope Valley has been selected as one of five Great American Defense Communities for 2022.

The communities were chosen in conjunction with USAA, the program’s official sponsor at the Defense Communities National Summit earlier this month. The 2022 class also includes West Valley Partners, Ariz., Tullahoma, Tenn., Northern Virginia, and Florida’s Space Coast.

The City of Palmdale applied for the award on behalf of the region which is home to Edwards Air Force Base, Air Force Plant 42, and several defense related companies.

“We are very excited to honor the Antelope Valley as a 2022 Great American Defense Community,” ADC President Bob Ross said. “The strength of our military starts at home and Antelope Valley is an excellent example of how a community can provide that support.”

The Great American Defense Communities program was launched by ADC in 2016 to recognize and celebrate the communities and regions that support military installations for their exceptional commitment to improving the lives of service members, veterans, and their families.

“It is truly an honor that the Antelope Valley has been recognized as a 2022 Great American Defense Community,” said Palmdale Mayor Steve Hofbauer. “Palmdale has a long and deep relationship with Edwards Air Force Base, Air Force Plant 42, and more than 80 prominent aerospace, commercial space, defense companies, and suppliers who to provide our nation with cutting edge aerospace technology to equip our military forces with the best resources available in their mission of keeping all of us safe and free. The Antelope Valley, also known as Aerospace Valley, is also home to thousands of veterans and military professionals who have the full support and respect of the residents and business community in our region.”

Communities are chosen through a competitive nomination process based on integration, support and collaboration with installations and community building efforts, such as educational and employment opportunities. This year, the Great American Defense Communities Program has a special focus on how communities are innovating and pioneering new ways to serve service members and their families.

“We, in the High Desert, Aerospace/Antelope Valley are grateful for this acknowledgment, as a 2022 Great Defense Community,” said 36th District California Assemblyman Tom Lackey. “The region is home to multiple historic achievements, which shaped the future of the Aerospace industry and impacted the entire globe. We are proud to honor and support our military, both active and retired.”

Andrew Mercy, executive director of the regional AV/EDGE economic development organization, said, “I’m thrilled to hear the rest of the country is learning what we already know. The economic impact is treasured throughout our Valley, and our technology defends the nation and secures freedom worldwide.”

ADC is the connection point for leaders from communities, states, the military and industry on community-military issues and installation management to enhance knowledge, information sharing and best practices. With nearly 300 communities, states, regions, and affiliated industry organization as members, ADC represents every major defense community and state in the country.

Commenting on the announcement, Lisa Moulton, president of the Edwards AFB Civilian/Military Support Group said, “Palmdale has really stepped up. It is great for the valley to be recognized for the work we do here.”

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