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TROUBLING PLAN TO CLOSE STATEN ISLAND'S NAVY BASE OF THE FUTURE

 NEW YORK, March 12 /PRNewswire/ -- "The decision to close naval Station New York, one of the most modern naval bases in the world, is deeply troubling," Maurice K. Shaw, chairman of the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation, said today.
 The Defense Department is considering closing Naval Station New York, known as the Staten Island Homeport, as part of its 1993 base- closure process. But Shaw points out that Homeport, which is home to six ships, is one of the Navy's most efficient bases. "In the past few years, more than $300 million has been spent to develop the base. The base's physical plant and equipment are virtually brand new," he says.
 Shaw notes that homeporting ships in Staten Island has unique strategic advantages for the country. Their location in the Northeast increases the navy's ability to react quickly to regional crises overseas, especially in such areas as the Mediterranean, Middle East and West Africa, he said. This compares favorably with other ports that require four to six hours to clear narrow channels."
 Naval Station New York is also a major trading facility for Naval Reservists in the Northeast.
 The arguments in favor of Homeport as a post cold-war naval base are just as significant today as they were last year, when the base was opened, says Shaw. Those reasons include:
 -- Providing maximum strategic and tactical flexibility so as to react to unpredictable and rapidly changing events.
 -- The need for geographic dispersal of forces.
 -- New York's advantages as a transportation hub, which allows for easy movement of material and personnel.
 -- The integration of Naval Station New York with nearby support facilities.
 -- Its state-of-the-art technology and equipment give it environmental advantages over many older naval facilities.
 According to Shaw, the presence of the U.S. Navy has gad a positive impact on New York City. He says, Homeport has given New York's struggling economy a tremendous boost, contributing millions of dollars and numerous jobs to the city. Shaw also notes that naval personnel, whose number includes many minority members, have served as role models for New York youth.
 Homeport has been a remarkable success story for the Navy as well, Shaw adds. Since the facility's opening, he notes, naval personnel and their families have enjoyed new housing, broad and ever-growing community support, and the opportunity to avail themselves of New York's unique cultural and educational advantages.
 In addition to his duties with the Chamber of Commerce, Shaw serves as senior vice president of Brooklyn Union, which distributes natural gas to 1.1 million customers in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.
 -0- 3/12/93
 /CONTACT: Staten Island Economic Development Corporation, 718-390-5134/


CO: Brooklyn Union Gas Co. ST: New York IN: SU:

TM -- NY072 -- 5732 03/12/93 20:29 EST
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Date:Mar 12, 1993
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