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Monday, August 15, 2005

Many on Base-Closings Panel Question Estimate of Savings

Hopefully, ths will translate into good news for the people of Groton.

From the New York Times
A majority of the members of the independent commission assessing the Pentagon's proposed list of domestic base closings say that the Defense Department probably overstated the nearly $50 billion in savings projected over 20 years, perhaps by nearly 50 percent.

In interviews this week, eight of the nine members expressed varying degrees of concern about the accuracy of the Pentagon figures, and said they had directed the commission's staff to conduct a separate savings analysis before the commission's final votes on the military's recommendations later this month.

After scores of base visits and public hearings, most of the commission members interviewed said they now agreed with a report issued this summer by federal investigators that concluded that nearly half of the Pentagon's projected savings came from cuts in military jobs that, in many cases, would simply be reassigned to other installations.

"I fail to see at this point how you could arrive at the figures they arrived at," said Anthony J. Principi, a former secretary of veterans affairs who is the commission chairman. "We're going through this effort to save money from excess capacity to modernize forces. If the savings aren't there, and it costs money to do this on top of all the economic upheaval, why are we doing this?"