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Pentagon issues base closure and realignment recommendations.

On March 12, Secretary of Defense Les Aspin forwarded his recommendations for military base closures and realignments to the Base Closure and Realignment Commission. The Base Closure Commission will review' the recommendations and present their report to the President by July 1. A complete schedule of the Base Closure Milestones can be found in the box.

Aspin recommended that 31 major military installations be closed and that 12 others be realigned to support a smaller and less costly force structure. In addition, the Secretary announced recommendations for closure, realignment and disestablishment of 122 other smaller bases and activities.

"These base closures are necessary, but they will hurt local economies" said Aspin. "The Administration recognizes its responsibilities for parrallel efforts to stimulate economic growth in the affected communities."

The day prior to the announcement of the proposed closure list, President Clinton announced a $1.5 billion defense conversion program to retrain workers and help communities hard hit by defense cuts.

In his testimony before Congress on the recommendations, Aspin pointed out that when examining the impact on a stateby-state basis "no one state can claim to be picked upon. No single state is taking it in the ear." Aspin emphasized that the closures or realignments will results in no more than 1 percent of a state's labor force in any given state. "Although this is no comfort to a Mayor looking at a big hit in a city" remarked Aspin. At the same time, Aspin noted. that "community economic impact" was an added criteria that the services did not look at.

Overall, Aspin said the base closures present an "opportunity for growth."

If your community is on the closure list and you do not yet have a certified copy of the Secretary of Defense's Defense Base Closure and Recommendation March 1993, you may obtain a copy by calling the Office of Public Communication at the Department of Defense at (703) 697-5737.

There is one report for each of the three branches of service -- Air Force, Army and Navy. You should request the report for the branch of service which is being affected in your com - In addition to the report, there is also a set of back-up data which was developed by each branch on eveS' installation recommended for closure or realignment. The back-up data, which is not part of the certified report and which is often quite substantial (i5 books for the Navy alone), can provide valuable insight into the rational for closing the facility. This should be requested in addition to the Recommendations and Analysis report to provide relevant information on the justification for recommending closure or realignment of a particular installation. The backup data can be obtained from each individual branch of service.

Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission

The Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission is charged with reviewing the Secretary of Defense' s list of recommended military installation closures and realignments and issuing a report to the President with its recommendations. James Courter, who served as chairman of the 1991 Base Closure Commission, is again serving as chairman of the eight member commission. (The Commission members are identified in the box.)

Throughout its process of review, the Defense Base Closure Commission solicits the views of local, regional and state officials and organizations. This is done through a formal process of hearings and on an informal basis as affected communities are welcome to correspond directly with the Commission.

Jim Courter, chairman of the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission, announced the public hearing schedule for the eight member panel. Testimony from state and local officials is presented during the regional hearings being held in nine cities.

"Local officials provide us with valuable information about the military value of their bases. They also help ns understand what base closure means to each community's economy, its environment and public works" said Courter. The Commission released the following schedule of regional hearings:

April 20 and 21

National Capital Region,

Northern Virginia

April 25 and 26

Oakland, Virginia

April 27

San Diego, California

May 1 and 2

Charleston, South Carolina

May 3

Orlando, Florida

May 4

Birmingham, Alabama

May 9 and 10

New York City, New York

May 11

Boston, Massachusetts

May 12

Detroit, Michigan

Times and locations will be announced at a later date and will be reported in NCW.

You are encouraged to write to the Commission with any questions, concerns or to state your case relative to the installation in your community. If you are interested in writing to the Commission members, send all correspondence to: Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission; Suite 1425 1700 North Monroe Street; Arlington, Virginia 22209. You can send your correspondence, if short, via fax to: (703) 696-0550.

It is not necessary to write to each individual Commission member. The Commission is compiling all information and forwarding it to all Commission members.

For more information on defense economic adjustment, call the National League of Cities at (202) 626-3170. 1993 Base Closure Milestones

March 15

Transmittal of recommendations by Secretary of Defense to Commission

April 15

Comptroller General issues report to Commission and Congress analyzing DoD's recommendations and selection criteria.

June 1

Final opportunity for Commission to add facilities for further consideration to DoD's recommendations. Any additions must be published in the Federal Register.

July 1

Commission issues its report to the President. July 15

Deadline for the President to either approve the Commissions recommendations and forward them to the Congress or return them to the Commission with his reasons for disapproval. If the recommendations are sent to Capitol Hill, Congress has 45 legislative days in which to pass a motion of disapproval in both houses, or the Commission's report becomes law.

August 15

If the President disapproves the Commission's July 1 Report, the Commission must re-submit its recommendations to the President by this date.

September 1

Final opportunity for the President to approve the Commission's recommendations and forward them to Congress. If the President disapproves, the process is terminated for the 1993 cycle.

Members d Base Closure Commission

Members of the Base Closure and Realignment Commission are:

James A. Courter, former representative from New Jersey. Courtner served as chairman of the 1991 Base Closure Commission.

Peter Bowman, vice president of quality assurance, Gould, Inc., in Mass.

Beverly B. Byron, former representative from Maryland and member of the House Armed Services Committee.

Rebecca Gernhardt Cox, vice president, Government Affairs, Continental Airlines. Cox is the wife of Rep. Chris Cox of California.

Hansford T. Johnson, chief of staff, United Services Automobile Association, Texas. Johnson is a-retired Air Force General.

Arthur Levitt, chairman of the board, Levitt Media Company in New York. Levitt served on the 1991 Base Closure Committee.

Harry C. McPherson, Jr., Attorney from Maryland. McPherson was a former special assistant to President Johnson and former deputy undersecretary of the Army.

Robert D. Stuart, Jr., president, Conway Farms of Illinois, a real estate development company. Stuart served on the 1991 Base Closure Committee.
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Title Annotation:includes related information on milestones and on the Base Closure Commission
Author:Mayer, Virginia
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Mar 22, 1993
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