Bases Escape White House Closure List
A MILITARY panel has spared four of five Navy home ports, three Air Force bases, and two large Army posts that the Bush administration had targeted for closing. Kept on the list of new home-port facilities for additional study is the facility at Staten Island, N.Y. The panel rescued facilities at Pascagoula, Miss.; Mobile, Ala.; Everett, Wash.; and Ingleside, Texas.
In addition, the panel has decided to keep looking at the Meridian, Miss., Naval Air Station and the Kingsville, Texas, Naval Air Station.
The panel dropped 18 of the 36 facilities it had suggested for closing or realignment.
The panel, which decided to keep five Army posts used as training facilities on its study list, concluded it should keep studying the Naval Station at Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay, but among Navy training facilities it dropped the Great Lakes Naval Training Center in Illinois from consideration. Also dropped was the Naval Air Station at Agana, Guam. The commission also decided to continue examining the Army Corps of Engineers for revamping.
The panel at the end of May proposed its own list of 36 facilities to be checked for possible closure or realignment, a list in addition to the 31 major and 12 minor facilities the Pentagon proposed the commission examine for closure.
In working its way through the Navy list, the panel decided to keep studying the Long Beach, Calif., shipyard for possible closure, but opted to strike from its list and thus protect seven Navy and Marine communications and electronics repair facilities.
Spared from the possibility of closure for at least two years were Griffiss Air Force Base in New York, Homestead Air Force Base in Florida, and Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho. But left on the panel's portion of the closure list were Plattsburgh Air Force Base in New York, Goodfellow Air Force Base in Texas, and McDill Air Force Base in Florida, also home to the Central Command, which was charged with running the Persian Gulf war.
Spared from the Army list were Fort Richardson in Alaska, a cold-weather training reserve almost at the Arctic Circle, and Fort Drum in New York. That action suggested the panel would retain Fort Ord, Calif.