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Friday, August 19, 2005

Ex-President offers support for sub base

A former President adds his name to the list of supporters of the sub base in Connecticut.

President Jimmy Carter wrote today to the BRAC commission in which he expressed his support for the the sub base and concluded that closing the facility in Groton would be "militarily deleterious."

From the Hartford Courant
Former President Jimmy Carter, who earlier this year watched an Electric Boat-built submarine bearing his name join the Navy's fleet, said in a letter released today that the Naval Submarine Base in Groton should remain open.

He said closing the facility--where he attended the Navy submarine school in 1948--would be "militarily deleterious."

Carter, noting he was "at heart a lifetime submariner," made his comments in a one-page letter to Anthony J. Principi, chairman of the Base Closure and Realignment Commission.

The nine-member panel will meet Saturday to ask Pentagon officials questions raised by supporters of keeping the base open, and will begin final deliberations Wednesday.


Although the decision to establish this extensive submarine base in Georgia was made while I was Commander-in-Chief," Carter wrote, "there was no political influence exerted from the White House.

"The decision was made on the merits of the base location, and those qualities are still evident."

But the success of Kings Bay, he said, does not mean Groton should be shut.

"Abandonment and rebuilding facilities would be disruptive," Carter wrote. "There would be a great loss of the services of civilian personnel who have long devoted their lives to the submarine force, and the move might overly concentrate our forces."

He also said that Pentagon estimates of significant cost savings were "doubtful."