ARLINGTON, Va. — Communities across the country received word in May how this year’s base closures could affect them, but decisions by the Base Closure and Realignment Commission last week brought that impact into better focus:
Good news for Connecticut: The state stood to lose more than 7,000 military jobs and nearly 1,000 civilian jobs with the proposed closure of Submarine Base New London, but the commission called that idea a mistake that could jeopardize the country’s security. It was taken off the closure list.
Bad news for Georgia: Not only did the state lose Fort Gillem and Fort McPherson, it also lost out on 3,200 new jobs when the commission decided not to close Submarine Base New London in Connecticut.
Good news for the Dakotas: Plans to move 24 B-1 bombers and 3,800 personnel out of Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota were scuttled by the commission because of concerns about its strategic effects and economic impact on the state.
Supporters of Grand Forks Air Force Base lobbied successfully for an amendment to keep air tankers at the North Dakota base through 2011, when a new generation of tankers will replace them.
Bad news for Texas: Plans for a new major medical center near San Antonio were approved, but despite a lengthy debate, the commission decided to close Naval Station Ingleside and move the Mine Warfare Command from Naval Air Station Corpus Christi to California.
Good news for Maine: The state won a major victory —– and saved more than 4,000 civilian jobs —– when the commission decided to keep open Naval Shipyard Portsmouth Kittery. But it lost more than 3,200 military and civilian jobs when commissioners decided to add Naval Air Station Brunswick to the closure list, which the Defense Department had not asked for.
Bad news for Virginia: Master Jet Base Oceana got a one-year reprieve to let defense officials and state leaders discuss options there, and Fort Belvoir will pick up nearly 10,000 workers as civilian and military employees are shifted out of leased offices in the Washington, D.C., area. But the state will see an overall loss of nearly 9,000 military jobs, and lost out on 1,300 more with the decision to keep the Maine shipyard open.
Good news for Maryland: The state will gain more than 9,000 civilian defense jobs, largely from that leased-office shift from Washington, and will host the replacement for Walter Reed Army Medical Center at National Naval Medical Center Bethesda.
Bad news for New Mexico: A last-minute push to move Air Force fighter training operations to Cannon Air Force Base fell one vote short on the commission, so only a small enclave of airmen will remain as the base is downsized over the next few years.