Voting Begins on Base Closures - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

08/24/05

Voting Begins on Base Closures

A federal commission began voting on the fate of hundreds of US military bases today, including several in Georgia. Unfortunately, the panel voted to close all four Georgia bases on the Pentagon's list.

Three of them are in the Atlanta area--Fort McPherson, Fort Gillem, and the Naval air station. The fourth is a small Navy supply school in Athens.

The panel also voted today to reverse the Pentagon's proposed closure of a Connecticut submarine base, which is a huge blow to the Kings Bay submarine base near St. Mary's, Georgia. Kings Bay was set to inherit all of the Connecticut bases vessels.

"They did it to stand up to the secretary of defense," said Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Connecticut). "That took some guts."

But Georgia officials are not happy about the decision, because it would have meant major job gains at Kings Bay.

In all, approximately 400 facilities will likely close.

The commission will send its final report to President Bush next month, at which time he can accept it or send it back for revisions. Then the president will present it to Congress, which must accept or reject the entire plan.

Reported by: Nicole MacMillan, nmacmillan@wtoc.com

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