Va. governor fills posts for defense commission

With an eye toward oncoming defense cuts, Gov. Bob McDonnell on Friday appointed 10 members to a newly reconstituted military commission charged with analyzing how the cutbacks will affect areas like Hampton Roads.

The Virginia Commission on Military Installations and Defense Activities will be chaired by recently retired Navy Adm. John C. Harvey Jr. The governor also named four cabinet secretaries, three retired lieutenant generals and two state lawmakers.

Virginia's economy stands to take a hit from military cuts under sequestration, the automatic, across-the-board cuts that went into effect this month. State officials have also expressed concern about another base-closing round in the future better known as BRAC, which stands for Base Realignment and Closure.

The last BRAC round in 2005 shuttered Fort Monroe in Hampton and threatened Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach.

When the multiplier effect of federal spending is factored in, defense spending and employment counted for slightly more than 46 percent of the Hampton Roads regional gross product in 2011.

Besides Harvey, the commission consists of the following state officials: Del. Richard Anderson of Prince William County, a retired Air Force colonel; Sen. Bryce Reeves of Spotsylvania; Secretary of Finance Richard D. Brown; Secretary of Commerce and Trade Jim Cheng; Secretary of Public Safety Marla Graff Decker; and Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security Terrie Suit.

The military officials are retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Al Edmonds of Alexandria, retired Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Emerson N. Gardner of Arlington and retired Army Lt. Gen. John R. Wood of Alexandria.

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