April 22, 2012
BOSTON — Hanscom Air Force base is fighting for its survival. Deep budget cuts announced earlier this year could mean the loss of hundreds of jobs there. And now the Pentagon has announced plans to close some of its bases around the country — and Hanscom could be on the list.
But salvation could be coming from Cambridge. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has announced plans to build a $450 million research laboratory at Hanscom. It would design small electronic parts for use in emerging aerospace, communication and missile technologies.
Marty Jones of the agency Mass Development is a part of a state task force that’s trying to position the Massachusetts bases in a positive light to prevent closures. She said that MIT's planned project will protect Hanscom from additional cuts.
"I think everyone understands technology is important today," she said. "And having a facility that is really cutting-edge and innovative should be something that's important when they're looking at which installations to close."
MIT already does a lot of business at Hanscom. According to the Boston Globe, about 3,200 MIT employees and 500 private contractors work at Hanscom — and the university is among the base’s biggest tenants. The research facility is expected to win approval in Washington.