Friday, May 13, 2005

Covering All The Bases?

Pentagon urges closing 33 major U.S. military bases
By Will Dunham

The Pentagon on Friday recommended the closure of 33 major domestic U.S. military bases and the realignment of 29 more, threatening a hard economic blow to many communities across the United States.
"Our current arrangements, designed for the Cold War, must give way to the new demands of the war against extremism and other evolving 21st century challenges," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in a statement.
Numerous other smaller facilities also were recommended for closing as Rumsfeld gave a nine-member Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission his recommendations to shut about one in 10 of the 318 major bases in the United States and its territories.
Prominent bases recommended for closure on the list included: Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine; Fort McPherson in Georgia; Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota; Naval Station Pascagoula in Mississippi; and Fort Monmouth in New Jersey. Others included Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico, and Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut.
The head of the commission earlier this month acknowledged the big impact, saying there "will be tsunamis in the communities they hit." Many communities mounted frantic lobbying efforts to try to save their local bases.
Mike Wynne, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, said the Pentagon recommended closing or realigning a 775 other smaller military locations.
Rumsfeld did not participate in the briefing.
The Pentagon said its recommendations would result in $5.5 billion in recurring annual savings and a net savings of $48.8 billion over 20 years.
Total defense savings, combined with those anticipated by realigning U.S. forces worldwide, would be $6.7 billion a year and $64.2 billion after costs over 20 years, the Pentagon said.
Wynne said the process of actually closing the bases would cost about $24 billion.
Coinciding with the domestic base-closing process, the Pentagon is working on plans to shift roughly 70,000 troops stationed abroad, primarily in Europe but also from South Korea, back to domestic U.S. bases.
At the same time, the United States has a major commitment of combat forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Of the 33 major bases to be closed, the Army would have the largest number at 14, followed by 10 for the Air Force and nine for the Navy. But facilities for the Army's foot soldiers would grow at 18 of its bases compared to growth at 14 each for the Air Force and Navy.
The commission will evaluate Rumsfeld's plan and make possible additions or subtractions. Their list, in turn, will be sent to Bush by Sept. 8. If he accepts that plan, he would forward the list to Congress, which can approve or reject it entirely but not make changes.
The previous four rounds of domestic base closings, in 1988, 1991, 1993 and 1995, resulted in the closure of 97 major facilities and many more closures and consolidations of smaller bases. None of the prior rounds involved closing more than 28 major bases. White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Bush's focus was on the affected communities. "We want to make sure that they have the assistance they need to transition once these decisions become final," McClellan said.


At 2:10 PM, Anonymous Jim Liddel said...

I'm prior military and I see what's up!
by: JimLiddell
There are few major bases involved. The reporters don't know their subject. MOST ARE facilities being used by Reserve units. But let's get terms straight here, which I will further down. The big thing in that list is that nearly all of the facilities involve ARMY RESERVE units. That's key to what's going on and this is the d*mnest thing I've ever seen.

Check through the list very carefully and you will not see hardly a single Army National Guard or Air National Guard base being closed.

Yes, you do see a few some referred to as, say, Army National Guard Reserve Facility--but the operational word there is RESERVE. That means that the faciility houses BOTH an Army National Guard unit AND a Army Reserve unit.

The two are not the same. Yes, both are Reserve Components (cap'd words, a formal term) BUT one is owned by the state in which it operates and the other is owned by the Regular Army--the FULL-TIME Army and thus is a direct property of the Pentagon which with the Gonies can do as they damn well please since no Senator or Congressman is going to jump up particularly and say, "NO! You are not costing MY state a military unit."

So, the states fight to keep their National Guard units (Army and Air), but the Regular Army and Regular Air Force (and Marines and Navy) HATE their Reserve affiliates because these Reserve units are all dog-sh*t, the Regulars' dumping ground for misfits and trouble-makers.

So, what happens when you close a facility used by both the Guard and the Reserve? The state moves its Guard unit to another Guard base and the unit lives on. The Reserve dies because its death is the object of this whole thing. It can't move somewhere else because it has NO local friends. It is a federal property and not a state one.

What happens when you close a purely Reserve facility? Same thing except there is no Guard unit to be moved by the state to another Guard base. The Reserve unit dies. Period.

ALL of that prison crapola in Iraq was caused by members of an Army Reserve unit--which is, by definition, cr3p!!

Sooooooooooooo, long story now draws to a close. What is going on??? Rummie and the Pentagon has had enough of Reservists being *ssholes and making everyone else look bad including our nation. THEY ARE WIPING OUT THE ARMY RESERVE under the guise of budget cutting.




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