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May 13, 2005

Military Musical Chairs

By Jim Dallas

An old friend brings to my attention that the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) committee has made its recommendations about which bases to close. Looks like the Navy is taking the biggest hit, particularly in Texas.

Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio is getting bigger, as is Ft. Bliss.

Texas stands to net 9,000 jobs overall; the closures in Corpus Christi and in Ralph Hall's district being offset by units being shifted from other states.

UPDATE: Still, a net gain in jobs does not make up for the many communities which are going to be sorely disrupted by the fifteen base closures scheduled for Texas. The Chris Bell campaign put out a PR to that effect:

The Pentagon today recommended closing a long list of military bases in Texas against zero in Oklahoma, bringing up yet another example of Rick Perry’s failed leadership.

“Texas and Oklahoma have two Republican senators and a congressional delegation dominated by Republicans. What does Oklahoma have that Texas doesn’t have? A Democratic Governor. Maybe we should get one of those,” said Jason Stanford, spokesman for the Chris Bell for Governor Exploratory Committee.

I'm not sure comparing the military presence in Texas to the military presence in Oklahoma is quite fair, but certainly what we got ain't the product of any great success on the part of Governor Perry. On the other hand, the 147th TANG is staying at Ellington Field, and I know Senator Hutchison's been fighting pretty hard for that.

Posted by Jim Dallas at May 13, 2005 01:48 PM | TrackBack


A friend of mine in the military commented on the problems, other than unemployment, that follow these closures. Many of these closed bases are expected to become environmental problems, because it is basically like shutting down and abandoning an entire small town.

I know in San Antonio, residents have expressed concern about pollution from the Kelly AFB.

Posted by: Elyas at May 13, 2005 03:54 PM

Actually, the military has to completly clean up the abandoned bases, and return them to enviromental soundness. Also, in the long run the nation saves billions by closing and realigning bases. Plus, I would say that saying that a Democratic governor has nothing to do with the base closing process, and to compare Texas to Oklahoma is foolhardy - as Texas has a huge number of military installations, and Oklahoma has almost none, PLUS Texas GAINED in the process, so following Bell's logic a Republican Governor would be better.

Posted by: Robert E at May 13, 2005 09:04 PM

I am not sure where you got your information about BRAC, but I would like to direct attention to the actual website/pdf (http://www.defenselink.mil/brac/pdf/Appendix_C_FinalUpdated.pdf) If you look, the state would not "net 9,000 jobs overall" but only 6,000. Plus,the 9,000 jobs are in the military, not civilian sector which means that the jobs are not going to the TX people. Instead, many of these jobs will be going to people that will only be in the state for a limited time.

Posted by: Schenewerk at May 15, 2005 08:43 PM
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