Base planners say protecting state’s bases not limited to BRAC rounds

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By Marlena Hartz: Freedom Newspapers The importance of protecting not just Cannon Air Force Base, but all New Mexico military bases was underscored Friday at a meeting of the New Mexico Military Base Planning Commission. The cumulative economic impact of even a gradual withdrawal of jets at Cannon Air Force Base sans a new mission […]

Proposal would convert closed bases to oil refineries

Marlena Hartz: Freedom Newspapers A state representative from Pennsylvania is trying to turn BRAC-list military bases into oil refineries. Though Cannon Air Force Base may be an ideal spot for a refinery according to his criteria, he never suggested oil come specifically to Cannon, said Derek Karchner, communication director for Rep. Joe Pitts, R.-Pa. “We […]

President Bush accepts BRAC recommendations

Deb Riechmann: The Associated Press WASHINGTON — President Bush on Thursday endorsed a plan for closing 22 major military bases and reconfiguring 33 others, leaving their fate to Congress. Bush had until Sept. 23 to either accept the entire report from an independent commission and send it to Congress, or return it to the commission […]

President, Congress likely to accept BRAC list

By Liz Sidoti: The Associated Press WASHINGTON — The military base closings that the Pentagon and a commission have recommended are likely to be approved by President Bush and Congress, leaving communities around the country with little hope that targeted facilities will be spared. Bush is now focused on the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast rather than […]

Rumsfeld concerned about commission’s decisions

By John J. Lumpkin: The Associated Press FORT IRWIN, Calif. — Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has reservations about the base closure commission’s decision to spare several high-profile installations, saying the commission focused on the economic impact of some bases instead of their military usefulness. Rumsfeld said he was uncertain whether he would recommend to […]

Commissioners keep some bases open despite Pentagon’s wishes

Liz Sidoti: The Associated Press WASHINGTON — Bucking the Pentagon, a federal commission voted Wednesday to spare a submarine base in Connecticut and a shipyard straddling the Maine-New Hampshire border, preserving a major military presence in New England and 12,000 defense-related jobs. On the first of at least two days of meetings, the base-closing panel […]

Navy’s top admiral to testify at BRAC hearing on Oceana

The Associated Press NORFOLK, Va. — The Navy’s new chief will testify this week at a defense commission hearing on whether Oceana Naval Air Station should be among military bases it recommends for closure. Adm. Michael G. Mullen, who became chief of naval operations July 15, will appear before the Defense Base Realignment and Closure […]

Congressmen want to slow down BRAC process

The Associated Press New Mexico’s two senators want to halt the base realignment and closure process at least until the Pentagon completes a defense review and most of the major combat units return from deployment in Iraq. Sens. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., and Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., announced Thursday they are sponsoring an amendment to the fiscal […]

Pair of BRAC commissioners to abstain from vote on Cannon

By David Irvin Two Base Realignment and Closure Commissioners who attended a regional hearing last month in Clovis will abstain from a vote on the future of Cannon Air Force Base. Former Reps. James Bilbray of Nevada and James Hansen of Utah will recuse themselves from a vote on Cannon, reducing the number of participating […]

Eastern New Mexico strikes BRAC

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By David Irvin The arguments to save Cannon Air Force Base were compelling. And the base itself is impressive. So said Base Realignment and Closure commissioners in Clovis on Friday for a regional hearing. But commissioners also had words of caution for Cannon supporters: The nation has many outstanding bases, they said, and the decision […]

Commissioners: No bad bases

By David Irvin/Freedom Newspapers The top names from New Mexico’s leadership and the eastern New Mexico community walked into Marshall Junior High School auditorium Friday with a singular mission: Convince the Base Realignment and Closure commissioners that Cannon Air Force Base should not be shut down. Judging from the boisterous mood at a press conference […]

Base closure was punch that sent Selma’s economy to mat

By Mike Linn: Freedom Newspapers SELMA, Ala. — For-sale signs and empty parking spaces are the norm on this city’s historic Water Avenue, where rotted wood hangs from second-story balconies and paint flakes from the buildings of long-forgotten businesses. It didn’t used to be that way, but much has changed in Selma since 1976, the […]

Other bases await Cannon’s fate

By Marlena Hartz The future of Cannon Air Force Base is being watched closely even beyond eastern New Mexico and West Texas. Six Air Force bases across the United States stand to inherit F-16 fighter jets if Cannon is closed, including Hill Air Force Base in Ogden, Utah. “I can’t say there is a direct […]

Bush defends base closings, says money should be spent on war

The Associated Press By Jennifer Loven ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Speaking out for the first time in favor of controversial base closings, President Bush said Friday the nation is wasting billions of dollars on unnecessary military facilities and needs the money for the war on terrorism. Bush, who faces opposition from many states to shutting down […]

Air Force officials praise ‘bold’ plans iwth BRAC

Wire Reports WASHINGTON — Top Air Force officials told Base Realignment and Closure commissioners on Tuesday their “bold” proposals will reshape the Air Force, improving its ability to defend the nation. Acting Air Force Secretary Michael Dominguez and Air Force Chief of Staff John Jumper said they considered four major factors in their decision to […]

Panel seems generally receptive to Pentagon’s closure proposals

By Liz Sidoti: The Associated Press WASHINGTON — A commission charged with reviewing the Pentagon’s proposal to close or downsize 62 major domestic military facilities sounded largely receptive as Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld testified Monday that the sweeping reorganization was vital to U.S. success in the war on terrorism. “The changes are essential in […]

Base-closing to affect all

By Liz Sidoti: The Associated Press WASHINGTON — The shifting of troops and jobs from the Northeast to the Sunbelt and the West. The consolidation of scores of Reserve and Guard sites across the map. Mergers throughout the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps to create super-sized multipurpose bases. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld […]

Morning to arrive with BRAC list

By Marlena Hartz: Freedom Newspapers Local Cannon Air Force Base supporters are reacting positively to details released in Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld’s press briefing Thursday on Base Realignments and Closures, more commonly known as BRAC. As specifics of the release circled through his dedicated community, Washington Committee member Randy Harris’ hope that Cannon […]

Cannon supporters relieved by Rumsfeld statement

By Marlena Hartz Far fewer military bases are likely to be closed and realigned than originally foreseen, in part because of the planned shift of tens of thousands of troops from bases in Asia and Europe to the United States, according to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. Rumsfeld said surplus base capacity is not as […]

Supporters rally for N.M. bases

By Sue Major Holmes: The Associated Press KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE — On either side of the green rectangle Obee’s sandwich shop sign hang red, white and blue banners: “We support our troops” and “God Bless America.” Obee’s offers members of the military a 10-percent discount on its sandwiches, soups and sodas. Manager Dana Barbee […]