5 'Major' Bases Tabbed For Closure

A guard walks away aftter locking a gate to Fort McPherson in Atlanta early Wednesday, Aug. 24. 2005. An independent commission voted Wednesday to support the Pentagon's recommended closure of Fort McPherson and Fort Gillem, a move that means Atlanta's seventh-largest employer and its satellite base almost certainly will be shuttered. (AP Photo/Ric Feld) AP

The commission considering the Pentagon's proposal to restructure hundreds of U.S. military bases voted to shut down five major Army bases in Georgia, New Jersey, Virginia and Michigan.

As it began final voting Wednesday with lightning speed, the nine-member panel also signed off on closing nearly 400 Army Reserve and National Guard facilities in dozens of states, creating instead new joint centers.

The commission decided to side with the Pentagon in closing Fort Gillem and Fort McPherson in Georgia, Fort Monroe in Virginia, the U.S. Army Garrison in Selfridge, Mich., and Fort Monmouth in New Jersey.

Much of the Army's proposal was approved in minutes and as a package.

The panel voted to shrink the Red River Army Depot in eastern Texas, where 25-hundred civilian jobs would have been lost, rather than close it, reports CBS News Correspondent Dan Raviv. The commissioners did vote to close Fort Monmouth in New Jersey, but an amendment tells the Army to protect the research work there for the War on Terror.

CBS News Correspondent Barry Bagnato reports on the efforts of a community near Philadelphia to save its military base.


The unanimous vote to return the Army's 1st Infantry Division to Fort Riley and provide thousands of new jobs in Kansas is the last major hurdle before final approval of changes that would add about 2,400 military and 440 civilian jobs to the post.

Known as "the Big Red One," the 1st Infantry Division was based at Fort Riley for about 40 years before its headquarters moved to Germany in 1995.
  • Sean Alfano

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