"Everywhere we go we hear great things about the 186th and the 172nd based in Jackson," said BG Don Roberts, of the Mississippi Air National Guard.
Harper, who serves on the House Judiciary Committee and the Committee on House Administration, is also a member of the National Guard and Reserve Components Caucus. One of his main messages focused on updating the attendees on efforts to ensure a long-term flying mission is always in Meridian and in the process keeping a $48 million payroll and $88 million economic impact in the area.
"I recognize just how important the military is to Lauderdale County and Meridian," said Harper. "That is why we must fight to keep a flying mission here. I am committed to helping the 186th and its future."
Harper also touched on the fact Secretary of Defense Robert Gates wants to cease the F-22 Raptor program, which the Lockheed Martin facility here in Meridian helps in producing.
"I took a tour of the facility with Joe Mercado and I would hate to see the F-22 project stopped," he said.