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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Are BRAC members showing concern for the Northeast?

Is this good news for Groton?

From the Hartford Courant
The chairman of the base-closings commission said Tuesday that he's concerned the military is "virtually abandoning" the Northeast, particularly New England, by closing or scaling back several of its bases.

"Closing all the bases in the Northeast is just the wrong thing to do," said Anthony J. Principi, chairman of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission, "and sometimes I get the feeling that's what we are doing."

"I remain concerned about closing any base in the Northeast. ... It's something that concerns me, and something we'll consider as we go forward," the former U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs secretary told colleagues.

None of the nine-member panel's votes Tuesday directly affected the Naval Submarine Base in Groton, the largest single closure on the Pentagon's original list of recommendations. But the session at a Senate office building offered some insights into the thinking of the members.

Asked if his concerns meant he would be more willing to keep the Groton base open, Principi said: "The commission would need to make that decision. But I'm concerned about it."