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Pentagon plans Complete Overhaul of US Military Bases

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor.../base_closings



By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer 39 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - The
Pentagon is proposing the most sweeping changes to its network of military bases in modern history, a plan that would close 33 major facilities in 22 states and reconfigure hundreds of others to achieve savings and promote cooperation among the armed services.

More than two years in the making, Friday's recommendations by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld represented his attempt to balance a whirl of competing forces. They include the changing threats facing the nation, massive federal deficits, wars in
Iraq and
Afghanistan, the economies of local communities and political pressures.

While state officials, community leaders, lobbyists and members of Congress combed through a thicket of data the Pentagon presented, the overarching theme of Rumsfeld's plan was surprisingly simple: To be more combat ready and affordable, the individual services must become leaner and more unified.

An example: The Army would move the 7th Special Forces Group from Fort Bragg, N.C., to the Air Force's Eglin, Fla., base, so both services' elite troops could train together more easily. An airfield next to Eglin is the headquarters of Air Force Special Operations Command.

Out would go the crown jewel of the Army hospital system: the venerable Walter Reed hospital in Washington. The hospital would move staff and services to the National Naval Medical Center in nearby Bethesda, Md., to create a new, expanded facility carrying the Walter Reed name.

The military calls this "jointness" — the services combining their strengths rather than working separately.

"Because jointness is key to creating military value — that was our goal," said Michael Wynne, the Pentagon's technology and weapons-buying chief who oversaw the base review project.

Rumsfeld had said before releasing his report that closures would be fewer than once anticipated, in part because surplus space will be used to accommodate tens of thousands of troops scheduled to be brought home from Cold War-era bases in Europe and Asia.

And while the number of bases he has asked to be shuttered is only slightly higher than in previous base-closing rounds dating to 1988, he put forth an extraordinary number of other changes and consolidations — 775 "minor closures and realignments" compared with 235 in the four previous rounds combined.

The proposal submitted to Congress and an independent base closing commission evoked immediate howls of protest from members of Congress whose states stand to lose jobs — civilian and military — and the Pentagon pledged to lend a helping hand to the hardest hit communities.

"It is wrong. It is shortsighted," Sen. Joseph Lieberman (news, bio, voting record), D-Conn., said when he learned the closures would include the submarine base at Groton. He called it "cruel and unusual punishment" of his state, which would suffer a net loss of 7,133 military and 1,041 civilian jobs.

Disappointment was also felt far from the corridors of power.

In Texarkana, Texas, doughnut shop owner Danny Witt estimated he would lose $1,000 a month in sales if the Red River Army Depot and Lone Star Army Ammunition Plant are closed as proposed.

"I hate it," he said. "It's devastating. I really thought we would miss the list."

Many of the states that fared well are in the South and Southwest. Georgia would register a net gain of 8,677 military positions, although it would lose 1,971 civilian jobs, while Texas would gain nearly 9,000 military positions, with El Paso and San Antonio acquiring the most.

Rumsfeld said he knows some communities will struggle to cope with job losses, but he made clear that the nation's security can be assured only if the military gets stronger.

It's a theme Rumsfeld has sounded throughout his tenure at the Pentagon, and he alluded to it in a cover letter to the report to Anthony J. Principi, chairman of the base closing commission.

"Increasing combat effectiveness and transforming U.S. forces are critical if our country is to be able to meet tomorrow's national defense challenges," he wrote. He recommended that a similar base-use review be done every five to 10 years. His was the first since 1995.

The chiefs of all the services endorsed Rumsfeld's plan, but it will face intense scrutiny from Principi's panel, which will take public testimony from Rumsfeld on Monday. The commission has until Sept. 8 to present its recommendations to
President Bush, who can accept or reject it whole, but not part. Congress likewise can accept or reject it in whole.

Among other highlights of Rumsfeld's plan:

_In addition to the 33 major bases that would be closed, another 29 would shrink in size and lose 400 or more jobs. Four of the latter are Navy facilities in California, including Naval Base Coronado. Fort Knox, Ky., would not close but would lose 4,867 military jobs while gaining 1,739 civilian slots.

_The Air Force would consolidate its B-1 Lancer bomber fleet at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, resulting in the closure of Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. The aerospace medicine program at Brooks City-Base, in San Antonio, Texas, would move to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. Wright-Patterson also would obtain the Navy's aero-medical research laboratory now located at Pensacola, Fla.

_The Army would close Fort Monroe, Va., built in the early 1800s on the site of various fortifications that dated back to 1609, when the British erected defenses to protect the approaches to the Jamestown colony. Its main tenant, the Training and Doctrine Command, would be moved to Fort Eustis, Va.

_About 12 million square feet of leased space would be vacated for more secure facilities owned by the government.

___

On the Net:

Pentagon's base closing plan at http://www.defenselink.mil/brac/


IMO... This is very disheartning to me because there is a 183rd base here in Springfield that looks like it is going to be closed and jobs lossed and also Great Lakes up in Chicago will also close and some more jobs will be lossed.
post #2 of 24
Patrick Air Force base in Satellite beach, Fla, barely squeaked by-thank God. It would have been a major blow to our economy if it closed. Some jobs will be cut/eliminated, but nothing so drastic as a closure.
post #3 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandra
http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor.../base_closings

Pentagon's base closing plan at http://www.defenselink.mil/brac/


IMO... This is very disheartning to me because there is a 183rd base here in Springfield that looks like it is going to be closed and jobs lossed and also Great Lakes up in Chicago will also close and some more jobs will be lossed.

According to CNN and my father who used to work at Great Lakes (whom lives in Zion), that Naval Base won't be closing at all they are realigning it, but NOT closing it. It would be pretty hard since that is the single Naval Basic Training Center for the US Navy... Remember when Chanute closed? I was stationed there when we heard it was closing... Beautiful base, but all it was a training base for various AF jobs (I was trained there). As for the bases closing, the only 4 bases that are closing are a surprise... the Naval Sub port (!), the Main Shipyard, Walter Reed (What are they thinking?!) and Ellsworth(less) AFB (which I do understand the reason to close that one down to a point. However, it won't be missed). Btw, I also don't see where in the BRAC document about anything in Springfield closing. Only the AFRC in Carbondale and Naval Reserve Center in Forest Park are on the chopping block. The rest are realignments.

I understand the economic impact of the bases. I saw 2 before my eyes (Chanute and Lowry AFB), however, with Lowry, when the military was in service there, they made 285 Million each year, now with the development of the base, they are making BILLIONS, with new jobs added into it. The military still has a presence there but only for personnel reasons. Granted, not all bases that have close are like this, but if developed correctly with the right people, the property will prosper. But depends on the area…
post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hey argo... I will check out the local paper here tomorrow to check and see if the base here and in Chicago will be closed for sure.
post #5 of 24
Davis-Monthan AFB, here in Tucson, is untouched. They are going to close the Army Reserve Center but that's only going to lose us 70 jobs here. D-M is worth over $7 billion a year to Tucson.

Ft. Huachuca, 70 miles south, will be realigned and will lose about 100 civilian jobs and Luke AFB, near Phoenix will lose about 160. Overall, AZ came out of this latest round, pretty.

Sen. McCain and Congressman Kolbe fight pretty hard, for us.
post #6 of 24
When they took boot camp out of Fort Gordon, in Augusta, GA, they thought the town would never recover. It took a few years, but other things came along and took its place. More industry, stuff like that. Fort Gordon is still there, but it is no longer much of a concern to the local economy. I am surprised it has not been completely closed, as it only has one training facility running.
I was very surprised that Camp Lejuene or any of the several surrounding camps were even on the list. New River Air Station is adjoining Lejuene, and Cherry Point is a few miles away. According to our local news yesterday, 192 new civillian jobs will be created aboard Camp Lejuene. They said a month ago that it was about to increase by 20,000 pepole in the next 2 years, and are building base housing like crazy. I wonder if anyone really knows whait is going on.
post #7 of 24
We were pretty confident about D-M. Its the main training base for A-10s and we have excellent flying weather, year-round. In addition, we're in close proximity to the Goldwater Gunnery Range.

D-M trains pilots from around the world. On any given day, I can see US A-10s, Israeli Air Force Mirages or Royal Saudi Air Force F-15s, flying over my house. In addition, Customs Service Black Hawks are based there.

A small group constantly complains about the noise, around the base. If they don't like airplane noise, WHY did they buy a house near it? I live within two miles of the main runway, right under the flight path. Personally, I'm very happy, to see those planes up there, protecting us.
post #8 of 24
I still have a job-Hunter AAF and Ft. Stewart were spared! As a matter of fact, Georgia's bases bring in the 2nd highest revenue after (I think) NJ.
I feel bad for the towns that lost their bases b/c they can be a huge source of revenue for their communities.
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ugaimes

I feel bad for the towns that lost their bases b/c they can be a huge source of revenue for their communities.
It's going to be devastating for a lot of areas. I remember when the Philadelphia Navy Yard closed - it was horrible for the local economy.
http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/05/14/bas....ap/index.html
post #10 of 24
Just remember this list is recommended, not for sure closings. There is a 9 person committee that will be making on-site visits to all of the bases on the list. There has to be a 7 person majority to add a base to the list, but only a simple majority to remove it from the list. This will take place between now and August. That will comprise the final recommendations. The list will then go to Bush who has to up or down the entire list. If he OKs the list as amended by the committee, it goes to the Senate who have 45 days to debate and finally up or down the entire list.
post #11 of 24
Yeah, katl8e, I like the sound of the planes, too. We refer to it as "the sound of freedom." We had Ospreys flying over yesterday. Those are so cool!
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arg0
According to CNN and my father who used to work at Great Lakes (whom lives in Zion), that Naval Base won't be closing at all they are realigning it, but NOT closing it. It would be pretty hard since that is the single Naval Basic Training Center for the US Navy... Remember when Chanute closed? I was stationed there when we heard it was closing... Beautiful base, but all it was a training base for various AF jobs (I was trained there). As for the bases closing, the only 4 bases that are closing are a surprise... the Naval Sub port (!), the Main Shipyard, Walter Reed (What are they thinking?!) and Ellsworth(less) AFB (which I do understand the reason to close that one down to a point. However, it won't be missed). Btw, I also don't see where in the BRAC document about anything in Springfield closing. Only the AFRC in Carbondale and Naval Reserve Center in Forest Park are on the chopping block. The rest are realignments.

I understand the economic impact of the bases. I saw 2 before my eyes (Chanute and Lowry AFB), however, with Lowry, when the military was in service there, they made 285 Million each year, now with the development of the base, they are making BILLIONS, with new jobs added into it. The military still has a presence there but only for personnel reasons. Granted, not all bases that have close are like this, but if developed correctly with the right people, the property will prosper. But depends on the area…
I didn't know Lowry closed down - that's where my brother (Air Force) did his training, back in the late 70s. Have you seen any lists of which European bases will be closed? A lot of businesses that cater to U.S. military personnel in the Stuttgart area are really worried. While it won't impact me directly, I foresee less access to English-language books, newspapers, magazines, movies, and services, and fewer U.S. products sold locally. I'll bet that the Augsburg base will be shut down completely. Schade! That was one base that was very well integrated in the local community.
post #13 of 24
It's ironic, Ellston is S. dakota is slated, and they voted out Daschele, who lobbied and won to keep it during Clinton, so once again people *not voting their own interests* bites them and i once again don't understand the self-destructiveness of people sometimes. seriously, democracy isn't just voting, it's voting for what you need so you speak truth to power.
post #14 of 24
also, the facts aren't all in so I just mention, apparently some of this stuff is going to be shifted to Texas. In fact the S Dakota base makes...B50somethings and instead that program is being shifted to a Texas location, that texas will actually be gaining jobs through this. now like I said, I don't know the facts fully but it's lookin' fishy to me.
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marge
also, the facts aren't all in so I just mention, apparently some of this stuff is going to be shifted to Texas. In fact the S Dakota base makes...B50somethings and instead that program is being shifted to a Texas location, that texas will actually be gaining jobs through this. now like I said, I don't know the facts fully but it's lookin' fishy to me.
Actually Marge, Ellsworth AFB was a SAC Base for a very long time, both having both ICBM's and Long Range Bombers, B-1B's bombers (which also came from Mountain Home AFB, ID also in 2001), not "B50somethings" which btw, are B-52's with a large contingent of them in Grand Forks and Minot AFB. Read the history of Ellsworth AFB here at http://www.ellsworth.af.mil/history.html.

In October of 1991, Bush Sr. ordered a complete deactivation of all Minuteman II missiles and consolidation of the Nuclear Triad forces since the Cold War was winding down. Ellsworth AFB, SD, Whiteman AFB, MO and one other I believe in Montana (Malmstrom?) ICBM wings went to a full bomber contingent after 1993ish maybe 1994 after the Minuteman II extractions. Whiteman AFB is now the home of the B-2 Bomber with many of the contingent forces spread to other missile wings with many getting crossed train or early retirement. Now for the B1B's moving to Dyess AFB in Texas is plain and simple... They already have a huge B-1B bomber wing since 1993, in fact one of the largest contingent of Bombers in the USAF. Makes perfect sense to me. From Dyess AFB website:

Today, Dyess B-1Bs and the 7th BW make up a large portion of the U.S. Air Force bomber force. Source: http://www.dyess.af.mil/pa/history/dyessafb.htm


And if you read more in that article, its not the first time that another bomber wing moved to that base. It happened during the Clinton era too. (The 7th Bomber Wing from Carswell AFB to Dyess also in the mid90's) So yeah, the facts are all there and maybe instead of bantering pointlessly thinking that this is all of bush's doing and being political or what have you, you may want to start lookin' for the information first. Texas isn't the only one gaining quite a few jobs out of this, there's about 10 or so states that are across the board including here in Colorado.

I also remember during the good ol' days in SAC that Ellsworth had a interesting nick name: Ellsworthless... Even the group of SAC warriors that I talk to on a near day to day basis were happy to see it closed. The base wasn't that great compared to the other old SAC bases like, FE Warren, Minot, Grand Forks, Whiteman, etc which continue in service the military strategically.

Edited to add:

One thing I also need to add. Texas has one of the most contingent military forces in the Union. It has a quite a few Army, Airforce, Navy and I believe Marine bases anywhere stateside. In fact, San Antonio has the highest military retiree stats in the world when it comes to the US Military.
post #16 of 24
In the last round of closings, Williams AFB in Chandler (near Phoenix) was closed. The base has been turned into an industrial park and is still generating a lot of revenue, for the area. Phoenix still has Luke AFB.
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arg0
Actually Marge, Ellsworth AFB was a SAC Base for a very long time, both having both ICBM's and Long Range Bombers, B-1B's bombers (which also came from Mountain Home AFB, ID also in 2001), not "B50somethings" which btw, are B-52's with a large contingent of them in Grand Forks and Minot AFB. Read the history of Ellsworth AFB here at http://www.ellsworth.af.mil/history.html.

In October of 1991, Bush Sr. ordered a complete deactivation of all Minuteman II missiles and consolidation of the Nuclear Triad forces since the Cold War was winding down. Ellsworth AFB, SD, Whiteman AFB, MO and one other I believe in Montana (Malmstrom?) ICBM wings went to a full bomber contingent after 1993ish maybe 1994 after the Minuteman II extractions. Whiteman AFB is now the home of the B-2 Bomber with many of the contingent forces spread to other missile wings with many getting crossed train or early retirement. Now for the B1B's moving to Dyess AFB in Texas is plain and simple... They already have a huge B-1B bomber wing since 1993, in fact one of the largest contingent of Bombers in the USAF. Makes perfect sense to me. From Dyess AFB website:

Today, Dyess B-1Bs and the 7th BW make up a large portion of the U.S. Air Force bomber force. Source: http://www.dyess.af.mil/pa/history/dyessafb.htm


And if you read more in that article, its not the first time that another bomber wing moved to that base. It happened during the Clinton era too. (The 7th Bomber Wing from Carswell AFB to Dyess also in the mid90's) So yeah, the facts are all there and maybe instead of bantering pointlessly thinking that this is all of bush's doing and being political or what have you, you may want to start lookin' for the information first. Texas isn't the only one gaining quite a few jobs out of this, there's about 10 or so states that are across the board including here in Colorado.

I also remember during the good ol' days in SAC that Ellsworth had a interesting nick name: Ellsworthless... Even the group of SAC warriors that I talk to on a near day to day basis were happy to see it closed. The base wasn't that great compared to the other old SAC bases like, FE Warren, Minot, Grand Forks, Whiteman, etc which continue in service the military strategically.

Edited to add:

One thing I also need to add. Texas has one of the most contingent military forces in the Union. It has a quite a few Army, Airforce, Navy and I believe Marine bases anywhere stateside. In fact, San Antonio has the highest military retiree stats in the world when it comes to the US Military.
Yeah but what if you are a South Dakotan who voted to remove Dachele being promised the other guy would be closer to the Pres and NOT close our base how would you feel now? I swear i see this all the time, why let others screw you over when you do it so well yourself?
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marge
Yeah but what if you are a South Dakotan who voted to remove Dachele being promised the other guy would be closer to the Pres and NOT close our base how would you feel now? I swear i see this all the time, why let others screw you over when you do it so well yourself?
Yeah but....

What about he many other bases around the US that are closing or realigning? Its not all about Daschle or any other senators. This was decided by the Pentagon and the Pentagon alone (I believe it was under the BRAC commission?). This is the reason why it going to be going before Bush then Congress. This list is NOT concrete... but I guess you missed that one. I'm sure like all other members of congress, the are trying to get their bases, reserve centers off the list... *yawns* Oh yeah, read the following:

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., on Friday called the Pentagon "flat wrong" about Ellsworth, and he vowed to lead a Senate delay of the closures.

"We should not close a single base here in America before the Pentagon decides which overseas bases to close. It defies common sense to close a base like Ellsworth before its strategic value is addressed in the Pentagon's Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR)."


Seems to me, like any other congressman is fighting against the base closures. However, there are both Democrats and Repulicans alike that are celebrating that either 1. their bases aren't closing 2. It's being realigned 3. or left alone.
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arg0
Yeah but....

What about he many other bases around the US that are closing or realigning? Its not all about Daschle or any other senators. This was decided by the Pentagon and the Pentagon alone (I believe it was under the BRAC commission?). This is the reason why it going to be going before Bush then Congress. This list is NOT concrete... but I guess you missed that one. I'm sure like all other members of congress, the are trying to get their bases, reserve centers off the list... *yawns* Oh yeah, read the following:

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., on Friday called the Pentagon "flat wrong" about Ellsworth, and he vowed to lead a Senate delay of the closures.

"We should not close a single base here in America before the Pentagon decides which overseas bases to close. It defies common sense to close a base like Ellsworth before its strategic value is addressed in the Pentagon's Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR)."


Seems to me, like any other congressman is fighting against the base closures. However, there are both Democrats and Repulicans alike that are celebrating that either 1. their bases aren't closing 2. It's being realigned 3. or left alone.

You know watch the timing, with the filibuster stuff coming up...hmmm will base closure ..or not...be used as barter?...
post #20 of 24
Conspiracy theories?

Since Ft. Carson is gaining almost 5,000 personnel from Texas bases, does that mean that Allard or Salazar pulled some huge favors? I seriously doubt it.

Is it possible that since Ellsworth has been on the chopping block multiple times before that it may just be time for that base to close? And of course, it IS very possible that it will be spared just as it has been multiple times before.

Just like any major corporation and beurocracy, sometimes some housekeeping needs to take place. How many factories have been closed due to consolidation and relocation? How many retail stores have been closed due to dilapidated conditions? Why should the military, that WE pay for, not be expected to do the same? I would much rather have a well organized military and cut the excess that is no longer effective, and reorganize to be the most effective.

Once again, here's how this really works:

Quote:
Originally Posted by CNN.com
Proposed closings timeline
• By May 16 -- Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld gives Pentagon's recommendations to the base-closing commission.
• By September 8 -- After holding public hearings, visiting bases, collecting data and possibly making changes, the commission gives its report of recommended base closures to President Bush.
• By September 23 -- The president will accept or reject the list in its entirety.
• 45 days later -- Congress has that amount of time to reject the recommendations in their entirety, or they become binding.
Source: U.S. Defense Department, The Associated Press
BTW, the BRAC committee does not include any currently sitting Congressmen or women. All they can do is lobby like the local officials, and possibly deny the entire final list.

There is a lot of time and lobbying yet to do. This list is NOT final by any means.
post #21 of 24
I don't know, I wish I had your faith in a group of people who have repeatedly lied to us, and used their clout to create anti democracy movements (ie the filibuster) I mean the average guy starts to cry foul instead of voting for these Conmen we are so screwed.

http://movies.yahoo.com/mv/news/ap/2...618582000.html
I just read this article and I am like YAY GEORGE (as in Lucas)
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marge
http://movies.yahoo.com/mv/news/ap/2...618582000.html
I just read this article and I am like YAY GEORGE (as in Lucas)
I'm like, its a timeless movie marge.I guess THX-1138 and Starship Troopers are/were a warning... What does this have to do with Base Closings?

Once again, another topic turned into a bush-bash thread with grasping to straws using something that has nothing to do with the current topic (base closures)... *shakes head*
post #23 of 24
Only after reading about the closing of the bases did I realise its impact on certain states. Sure I knew that the local economy will have problems but to find out that it is the second largest employer in some states is quite surprising. Political or not, the result of the closing would be a bit of savings, which is always good. Provided that the savings is not plowed back into some other military program. Perhaps it could be used in areas affected to generate new work and industries to help the people.
post #24 of 24
Here in Groton, Ct.... the Sub Base is on the brac list. Should it close it would devistate the area, not only businesses, but the schools as well. General Dynamics as well as Electric boat would be a shell of what it is now. Not to mention my wife would lose her job.
I do know that when the Pentagon decided on the list they gave no thought to the economic impact base closures would have.

On the upside: In our area they are still trying to decide the fate of the Utopia project, a very large and expansive movie studio/amusement park to be built on the site of the old Norwich Mental Hospital that's been empty for as long as I've lived here. Perhaps with the base on the list it will get the push it needs to get final approval.

Actually, I doubt that the worlds largest (and oldest) sub base will close, as I'm pretty certain that our base in particular will have THE largest impact on the economy.

Only time will tell.
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