Are Georgia's military bases in danger? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Are Georgia's military bases in danger?

April 15, 2003

Valdosta - Moody Air Force Base is one of Lowndes County's most thriving businesses. "It brings in about 237 million dollars each year," said Tim Carroll, Military Affairs Chairman.

But in 2005, Moody Air Force Base could be shut down. "Secretary Rumsfeld has said he'll close about 25 percent of U.S. bases, and Georgia's got 13 of them so we're all in danger," said Carroll.

People in Lowndes County say they'll do whatever it takes to keep Moody off the base closures list. Moody has countless factors in its favor. On an economic level, it employees more people than any business in Lowndes County. "Not only do we have so many employees here on base, but we've also got their spouses and dependents working throughout the whole South Georgia region," said Major Nori LaRue, Moody Public Affairs.

The base also has important state leaders on its side. In a town hall meeting with Lowndes business leaders Tuesday, First District Congressman Jack Kingston said he's lobbying to keep Moody and all Georgia bases thriving. "We've got to do whatever we can to keep Moody and also the base in Albany from danger," said Kingston. "They're huge economic resources for Georgia and must be protected."

And one of its strongest advantages...lots of community support. "They're an integral part of this community," said Carroll. "I personally and I know many other businessmen employee several Air Force reservists so we value Moody in this town."

Lowndes business leaders say even though the decision is 2 years away, committees are already on the ball, making sure Moody stays in business.

posted at 3:15 by ashley.harper@walb.com

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