2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 23 Dec 2003 18:23:37 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Pentagon may close overseas facilities
Pentagon may close overseas facilities
By Dave Montgomery
Posted on Tue, Dec. 23, 2003

WASHINGTON - As the Pentagon embarks on what could become the most
extensive round of base closings since World War II, lawmakers are
insisting that defense officials take a hard look at overseas
installations that traditionally escape scrutiny in base-closing

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld kicked off the process Monday by
releasing the guidelines for the nation's fifth round of base closings
since 1988. When the process ends two years from now, the number of U.S.
military installations could shrink by up to 25 percent, a bigger
rollback than the previous rounds combined.

The potential effect has already ignited a nationwide counteroffensive
as cities and states scramble to protect bases that pump millions of
dollars into local economies. Fort Worth has formed a 46-member task
force and hired a Washington lobbying firm as part of its campaign to
preserve Naval Air Station Fort Worth, the nation's first joint reserve

For the first time, a separate review of overseas bases -- authorized by
legislation sponsored by U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas -- will
parallel the multiphase study of domestic bases, which will conclude
with hearings and final recommendations in the fall of 2005.

"With the next round of base closures fast approaching, overseas
facilities should be examined just as closely as those here at home,"
the Republican senator said in a statement released by her office. "It
would be pointless to scale back or close domestic bases that could be
needed for troops returning from outdated facilities abroad."

Hutchison's legislation, which was part of a military spending bill
passed by Congress and signed by the president, creates an eight-member
commission to review overseas bases and return its findings within a

The commission's report would be submitted midway through the review of
domestic bases and could conceivably influence the outcome. Pentagon
officials are believed to be reviewing U.S. deployment in Europe and
elsewhere and could return an undetermined number of troops back to the
United States, according to analysts.

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