3 More Bases Targeted For Closure

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger testifies in support of California's bases to the federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 14, 2005. AP

The Base Realignment and Closure commission voted Tuesday to add three military facilities in California, Maine and Virginia to the list of hundreds of domestic bases that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld had already proposed for closing or shrinking.

The Navy Broadway Complex in San Diego and the Naval Air Station in Brunswick, Maine, were placed on the list of facilities to be closed. The Naval Master Jet Base at the Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia, which the Pentagon proposed trimming in size, would be reduced even further or shut down, the base-closing commission voted.

CBS News Correspondent Bob Fuss reports that the commission also decided to consider combining three military post-graduate schools and four Washington, D.C.-area medical offices — none of which the Pentagon suggested.

The commission was voting Tuesday on whether to add facilities in 11 states and Washington, D.C., to the list. The panel is making final decisions next month about which bases to propose for closing or reductions, with President Bush and Congress making a binding decision in the fall.

The San Diego facility has headquarters for Navy operations in the Southwest, while the Navy's tactical air units are trained and deployed from the Virginia base. The Brunswick air base is the last active-duty Defense Department airfield in New England and one of Maine's largest employers, with nearly 4,900 military and civilian workers. It had been slated for downsizing but now will be considered for closure.

Before voting on additions, Chairman Anthony Principi cautioned that adding a base to the list "does not necessarily mean that the base will be realigned or closed" but will allow the panel to further analyze those bases' usefulness by visiting sites, collecting data and holding hearings.

In a reprieve for California, the commission voted against putting the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego on the closure list even though several commissioners had wanted to consider merging it with the service's other recruiting facility in Parris Island, S.C.

The Naval Shipyard at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, which repairs submarines, surface vessels and aircraft carriers, also was saved, although by a slim margin. The vote was five in favor of adding it to the list and four against adding it. However, seven commissioners had to vote in the affirmative for it to be added.

  • Sean Alfano

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