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Friday, July 08, 2005

New analysis shows the the cost benefit in saving Groton Base

More good news for submarine base in Groton.

From the New London Day:
For almost two months the Subase Realignment Coalition has been undercutting the Navy analysis that portrayed the Naval Submarine Base in Groton as having a low military value and as a candidate for closing.

But a new analysis showing the Navy could save money by increasing the number of submarines in Groton — and strong interest in the plan by two members of the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission — has the coalition scrambling to change its focus.

“Our emphasis will shift now,” said coalition Chairman John C. Markowicz. Over the next couple of weeks the group will concentrate on data that will bolster the case for moving nine submarines from Norfolk, Va., to Groton.

Time is running out. The deadline for the final report to be submitted to President Bush is Sept 8th.

But the local coalition is used to tight deadlines. Because the Pentagon withheld the data behind its base-closure recommendations for weeks following the May 13 release of its list, the coalition almost didn't finish its analysis in time for the commission's hearing in Boston this week.

Gabe Stern, who has supervised the data analysis for the coalition, said it took additional weeks to understand the Pentagon's COBRA analysis — the Cost of Base Realignment Action computer model that was used to justify its closure recommendations.

In the end, Stern didn't get the final results until less than 24 hours before the hearing kicked off on Wednesday, so the coalition could present the commission with only a brief outline of its findings.

There is still a tough road ahead but at least things are looking better for Groton.