Showdown on Shutdowns

Base closure panel polls reaction to a plan that collides with more than 200,000 military and civilian jobs.

The Defense Department wants to save $50 billion during the next two decades by closing 33 major bases and realigning scores of other military installations from Maine to Hawaii. The Pentagon forwarded its recommendations to the independent Base Realignment and Closure Commission in May. The plan would eliminate more than 200,000 military and civilian jobs at bases that would shrink or shut down and create almost 200,000 jobs at other facilities. The commission is reviewing the plan at public hearings across the country and will send a final list to the president by Sept. 8. If the president approves the list, Congress has 45 legislative days to reject it, otherwise the bases will start closing and moving late this year.

California, which lost tens of thousands of jobs in past BRAC rounds, would fare better this time, losing about 2,000 jobs and no major bases.

The Air Force would close and realign two remote bases in the Dakotas. Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., would lose its 2,645 jobs, but remain open for future use. Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., the state's second-largest employer with 3,852 jobs, would close.

The Navy would move submarine operations out of New England by closing the New London Submarine Base in Connecticut (8,460 jobs) and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine (4,510 jobs).

Indiana would gain more than 3,000 civilian jobs if more than 20 Defense Finance Accounting Service operations nationwide are consolidated at a federal facility in Indianapolis.

In Texas, the services would close the Red River Army Depot, the Air Force's Brooks City Base and Naval Station Ingleside. Still, 6,150 jobs would move to the Lone Star State.

More than 20,000 jobs in the Washington area would move to Fort Belvoir and Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia and Fort Meade, Md.

In Georgia, Fort Gillem, Fort McPherson and the Naval Supply School Athens would close. But the state would gain 7,423 military jobs as thousands move to Fort Benning and Submarine Base Kings Bay.

Winners & Losers

States with the most jobs (civilian, military and contractor) won or lost as a result of the latest round of the BRAC process.

Winners:
Maryland Georgia Texas Colorado
+9,293 +7,423 +6,150 +4,917
Losers:
Connecticut Maine District of Columbia Alaska
-8,586 -6,938 -6,496 -4,619

All told, the Pentagon recommends relocating 133,769 military jobs and 84,801 civilian jobs.

For a state-by-state look at bases slated for closure and realignment, go to:
http://www.govexec.com/pdfs/brac2005.pdf

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