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Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

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Monday, April 18, 2005

on base closures

here's a great link to the possible base closures in new england. of particular note is the fact that both portsmouth naval shipyard, and new london's submarine base are in the crosshairs.
i've been through 2 base closures, mare island naval shipyard, and mcclellan air force base, both here in northern california. while the brac commission isn't supposed to be "political", we suffered because the navy simply washed it's hands of us. why? because of many factors ranging from the local voter refusal to allow the USS Missouri to homeport in alameda, to the constant and vocal opposition to any and all things military. the local people (read that voters) saw only one thing: they didn't want a military presence in their communities. and they let the military know by constant protests, and onerous ordinances that made functioning almost impossible, made possible only at great expense. so...we got hit. in a short period of time northern california lost (i don't think this is an all inclusive list, but it's close) mare island naval shipyard, hunters point naval shipyard, alameda naval air station, oakland naval supply depot, moffit field naval air station, treasure island navy base, the presidio army base, oakland army depot, fort ord army base, mather air force base, and mcclellan air force base.
bottom line: if there isn't a strong community support, chances are the military won't fight too hard to keep the base. we found that out to our pain. i guess the bay area and surrounding environs reaped what they had sown. if the navy felt welcome here, they would have fought a lot harder to keep the bases. new england has lost it's pro military fervor of years past, and i think that's going to be a telling factor in the upcoming round of closures.

2 Comments:

Blogger Lubber's Line said...

Bothhook, An excellent point I failed to make in my post. If the "community" doesn't support the military then the military may not want to fight that political battle. I'm afraid that in many a case it's the vocal anti-military minority that wins in the press (oh, how the press loves the theater of protest). Then the silent majority losses their jobs and ends up at Starbucks serving the latte sippers as they discuss how bad the local economy has become.

4/18/05, 7:00 PM  
Blogger Chap said...

The converse is also true, and congressional pressure is also useful. There's a reason why we closed San Diego and Orlando's boot camps, keeping a hundred year old Great Lakes base open.

Portsmouth avoided the axe by becoming the best and most efficient SSN refueler in the world. It might help this time around. Groton, well, it's got some congressional pull, and the town might squeal loud enough...

4/20/05, 10:22 PM  

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