BRAC Recommends Thousands of New Personnel for Kings Bay - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

05/13/05

BRAC Recommends Thousands of New Personnel for Kings Bay

Kings Bay is the only naval submarine base in the Southeast, and it's on the southernmost end of the Georgia coast. It's located in Camden County and it was on the BRAC list, but not for closure. Tonight they're celebrating some good news.

With a very high demand on the Navy these days, the BRAC committee has recommended that Kings Bay make some serious changes. Folks from the government, state and local all gathered to hear the news.

"Kings Bay is a $50 million impact and it is a great employer, our largest employer," said Deborah Hase, mayor of nearby St. Mary's.

An employer that had to cut back its work force when some of its submarines were transferred to the West Coast to aid the war in Iraq, leaving many civilian employees worried.

"We were told we were going to lose 70 positions over the next two years, so this will replace the 70 we lost and gain some and maybe even more depending on what class submarines," said Gene Sykes with Local Lodge 2783.

Now the recommendations are out, Kings Bay is looking to expand its future. They'll be increasing their workforce of up to 3,300 people and that doesn't include all the family members that will be coming along with them.

And that's not all. "We are going to pick up a new school here and we're going to pick up new submarines," said US Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA Dist. 1).

Even though the news appears to be better than expected, the future expansion of this naval submarine base is not set in stone. "What we've got to do between now and then is just continue to be ready and realize that we're in as good of shape as possible, but this doesn't mean it's a done deal," noted Kingston.

The BRAC recommendations are expected to be approved in September. If all goes as planned, Kings Bay will start seeing new submarines with in the next year.

Reported by: Nicole Teigen, nteigen@wtoc.com

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