Monday, May 09, 2005

BRAC With a Vengence

Something to watch: Pentagon recommendations on base closures expected this week:

Concern has focused on two installations in particular: Los Angeles Air Force Base and the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey.

The L.A. Air Force Base houses the Space and Missile Systems Center, which designs and procures the military's satellite systems. Colorado Springs, Colo., home of the Air Force's space operations headquarters, has been making a play for the facility, but the L.A. base's neighbors have spent nearly $1 million on a lobbying effort to keep the base. They argue that the scientists who work there wouldn't move to Colorado.

Officials in Monterey are facing rumors that the military wants to do away with the Naval Postgraduate School altogether and send the 1,500 officers who make up its student body to civilian universities or broaden the curriculum at another military school to make up for it.

The officials are making the case that unique research is happening at the school and it's actually more cost-efficient to educate students there than elsewhere.

"The show isn't over until it's over," Deputy City Manager Fred Cohn said.

California lost more than two dozen major bases in the four previous BRAC rounds - a disproportionate hit that accounted for nearly 30 percent of the total cuts nationwide, according to a report by the California Council on Base Support and Retention, appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

State officials say that in past rounds, the state didn't put up a united front in defense of its bases. This time around, the state's congressional delegation has been unified on the effort, and the council Schwarzenegger appointed was the first-such effort by the state.

"I think we've made a strong case for California," said House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine. "I think the Pentagon understands it, and I think we're going to do well in this round."
We hope so.

3 comments:

Fick said...

You're just on a blogging tear today. I'm very impressed. It is kind of sad when I saw BRAC I at first wondered if it stood for bullshit-rule-analysis-conclusion.

I need finals to end so I can begin to be a normal human being again.

cd said...

Um, Fick?

No one told you yet?

You never go back to being normal again.

Bethany said...

FYI - the article is a little inaccurate. There was a coordinated council on base protection under the Davis Administration (it included base commanders, legislators, and representatives of a Special Office of Military Base Retention and Reuse), created by a bill by Senator William J. "Pete" Knight (my favorite "name" in legislative history, may he rest in homophobia forever). It was called the California Military Base Retention and Conversion Council. It had 2 purposes: 1) to help communities with already closed bases reuse them effectively (a mission largely lost on the current Administration as most of those closed bases still haven't been transfered to the local communities) and 2) to coordinate state and local government to better respond to the needs of base commanders to make CA bases teh most efficient (read: least vulnerable) in the country.

Imitation is the ultimate form of flattery, so Arnold ripping off this idea (off of the deceased "Pete" Knight, his GOP kin, no less) is classic. Too bad Arnolds version only gets at HALF of the problem. Sequels are never as good as the original.