Georgia prepares for BRAC announcement - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Georgia prepares for BRAC announcement

Dougherty County--- Some Commanding Generals at military bases across the country already know the fate of their bases. But Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld won't announce his recommendations for base closures to the public until Friday morning at 10:30.

The Secretary of Defense said today his recommended base closings and realignments would save nearly $49 billion over the next 20 years.

The Alliance working to save the Albany Marine Base, is ready to announce future plans for the base whether its on the cut list or not.

Friday the 13th could be Albany's luckiest, or unluckiest, days in years. The Secretary of Defense will announce then if MCLB will be shut down, realigned, or left alone. "This year's recommendation, if approved by the BRAC Commission, approved by the president and ultimately approved by the Congress of the United States, should result in some $5.5 billion in recurring annual savings," said Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Chamber of Commerce President Tim Martin says the community has done all it can to save MCLB and now there's nothing left to do but wait. "We're either going to grow and prosper because we stay open or grow and prosper because we have an opportunity to bring in additional businesses, industries, and opportunities."

This is how the news will spread:

  • Around 9:15AM, an honor guard will deliver one-thousand page documents, including complete details about the base closures and realignments, to the nation's 535 congressional leaders. "They'll break it open and communicate back and forth by telephone. We'll know simultaneously through the staff in Washington," says Martin.

  • Congressman Sanford Bishop will be in Albany ready to relay the recommendations to community leaders.

  • Then around 10:30, the Defense Secretary will hold a press conference to officially release the BRAC list.

  • At high noon, the Southwest Georgia Alliance for Progess will tell its plans for MCLB, depending on the outcome, from the Riverfront Resource Center downtown.

 "If we're on the list, we'll say 'This is a sad day,' but this is not final. There's a process to follow to reverse that recommendation. If we're not on the list, this will be a great day, and we're gong to be happy, rejoice and celebrate," said Martin.

At 2:00 Friday afternoon, the Commander of the MCLB will comment on the closure list during a news conference at the base. It will be the first time military officials from the base have been able to comment publicly on the BRAC process.

If MCLB is recommended to close, the real work will begin Friday night. The Alliance for Progress will prepare for a BRAC commissioner to visit and review the base this summer.

The Commissioner could come as soon as June. The nine-member BRAC Commission have until September 8th to make changes to the list. Then the commission will present its list to the President who has until October 20th to endorse or reject the list.

  • Georgia has 13 military bases:

Navy Supply Corps School (Athens)

Dobbins Air Reserve Base (Marietta)

Marine Corps Logistics Base (Albany)

Fort Gordon (Augusta)

Fort Gillem (Forest Park)

Fort McPherson (Atlanta)

Moody Air Force Base (Valdosta)

Fort Benning (Columbus)

Naval Air Station-Atlanta (Marietta)

Fort Stewart (Hinesville)

Hunter Army Air Field (Savannah)

Robins Air Force Base (Warner Robins)

King's Bay (St. Marys)


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