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This article appears in the June 17, 2005 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

The Major Bases To Be Lost
in Rumsfeld's Plan

by Marcia Merry Baker

The map and the profile below identify the 33 military installations having the highest "economic replacement value," out of the 180 bases and other facilities targetted for closing in Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's Base Realignment and Closing (BRAC) plan, currently being fought by affected states and communities, and by members of Congress of both parties. These 33 facilities are slated by the Pentagon for either total shutdown, or some more partial "realignment."

The list was released by the Department of Defense on May 13, and altogether, calls for reductions or closures at 775 smaller installations.

These 33 sites are defined as "major" because they each have a plant replacement value exceeding $100 million; we group them here by geographic region, as numbered on Figure 1.

In addition to the bases shown here, many other military installations should also be designated as "major"—such as the first-rate, and historic, Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.—in terms of their role in the surrounding community, in support of the National Guard, or another function in the whole military and economic system.

After the first 33, the next category is that of installations losing 400 or more net total personnel (civilian and military), of which there are 29—the Army has 5, the Navy 11, the Air Force 10, and there are 3 more used by multiple services.

Among these 29, for example, is the Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska.

The Northeast

The New England region is very hard hit by the proposed closures. Two of them—New London/Groton, Connecticut and Portsmouth Naval Yard, Maine—are nuclear-licensed, meaning that they employ a long-standing complex of skills and capital intensity related to nuclear technology. In the most minimal calculation, the state of Connecticut estimates that the closing of the New London/Groton naval complex would lead to a loss of $3.3 billion and 31,500 jobs statewide, with 8,586 jobs eliminated at the shipyards directly. In Maine, 6,938 jobs would be lost at the shipyards. The loss of these assets of high-technology nuclear capability, would be severe for the nation's economy and security.

1. Connecticut. Submarine Base, New London (Navy)

2. Maine. Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth

3. Massachusetts. Otis Air National Guard Base (Air Force)

4. Pennsylvania. Naval Air Station, Willow Grove

5. Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh International Airport Air Reserve

6. New Jersey. Fort Monmouth (Army)

7. New York. Niagara Falls International Airport Air Guard Station

The Midwest

In South Dakota—part of the Upper High Plains region of the United States suffering a mass outflow of population—the Ellsworth Air Force Base is the second largest employer in the state. The highest-value targets for shutdown are:

8. Indiana. Newport Chemical Depot (Army)

9. Kansas. Kansas Army Ammunition Plant

10. Michigan. Selfridge Army Activity, Macomb County

11. Michigan. W.K. Kellogg Airport Air Guard Station, Battle Creek

12. South Dakota. Ellsworth Air Force Base, Rapid City

13. Wisconsin. General Mitchell Air Force Reserve, Milwaukee

The South

Longtime command centers and major regional centers are among those bases proposed for shutdown in the South. In Atlanta, Ft. McPherson serves as the headquarters for the Third U.S. Army, the U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM), and the U.S. Army Reserve Command. These functions would be removed to the Carolinas. Atlanta's Ft. Gillem also is the location for the regional leadership of FEMA, the Red Cross, and other services. Ft. Gillem and Ft. McPherson combined, represent a Greater Atlanta workforce of 11,000, with a $600 million annual payroll.

14. Georgia. Ft. Gillem (Army), Atlanta

15. Georgia. Ft. McPherson (Army), Atlanta

16. Georgia. Naval Air Station, Atlanta

17. Mississippi. Mississippi Army Munitions Plant, Vicksburg

18. Mississippi. Naval Shipyard, Pascagoula

19. Texas. Lone Star Army Munitions Plant

20. Texas. Red River Army Depot, Texarkana

21. Texas. Naval Station Ingleside, Corpus Christi

22. Texas. Brooks City Air Force Base, San Antonio

23. Virginia, Fort Monroe (Army), Hampton Roads

The West

California, which saw major losses in the previous four rounds of base-closings, still stands to lose another 11 bases, including the four major installations on the map.

24. California. Riverbank Army Ammunition Plant

25. California. Naval Support Activity, Corona

26. California. Naval Weapons Station, Seal Beach

27. California. Concord Detachment (Navy)

28. California. Onizuka Air Force Station, Sunnyvale

29. New Mexico. Cannon Air Force Base

30. Nevada. Hawthorne Army Depot

31. Oregon. Umatilla Chemical Depot (Army)

32. Utah. Deseret Chemical Depot (Army)


In addition to the prospect of closing the Kulis Air Guard Base at Anchorage, Alaska faces the Rumsfeld proposal to shut the Eielson Air Force Base outside of Fairbanks, stripping down 3,000 jobs directly.

33. Alaska: Kulis Air Guard Station (Air Force), Anchorage

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