Leader Blues

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

TOP STORY>> LRAFB biggest AF winner

IN SHORT: The base would see the most gains in the Air Force if the closure list is upheld and Bush and Congress sign off on it.

Leader staff writer

Advocates for many bases chosen for closure will take their cases to the Base Relocation and Closure (BRAC) Commission over the next four months, but if they fail, Little Rock Air Force Base will realize the full growth detailed in the Defense Department recommendations.

Tentatively selected to get about 3,900 new jobs, the Jacksonville air base is slated to have the ninth largest gain in personnel of all bases — and the largest gain among all Air Force bases.

The recommendations calls for increasing the number of jobs at the base 7,166 to 11,064, most of them military jobs.
The only installations making larger gains all are Army bases.

Those bases expecting larger gains in personnel than Little Rock are:
- Fort Belvoir, Va., 11,858
- Fort Bliss, Texas, 11,501
- Fort Benning, Ga., 9,839
- Fort Sam Houston, Texas, 9,364
- Fort Lee, Va., 7,344
- Fort Meade, Md., 5,361
- Fort Carson, Colo., 4,377
- Fort Bragg, N. C., 4,325

In earlier rounds of base closings, about 85 percent of the Defense Department’s recommendations have been approved.
The BRAC Commission has nine members, and it takes only a simple majority—five—to remove a base from the closure list, but seven commissioners to add a base to the list.

The purpose of BRAC is to make the most efficient and effective use of all the Department of Defense’s resources.

Commission president Anthony Prin-cipi has said he expects changes to be made and that the commission would hold 16 hearing around the country between early June and the end of July, according to