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SANDWICH, Mass. --Cape Cod's Otis Air National Guard Base, a hub in the nation's anti-terror network which launched fighters during the Sept. 11 attacks, would close under a reorganization of the nation's military bases unveiled Friday by the Pentagon.

But in a major victory for the state's political leaders, Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford not only will stay open, but will gain more than 1,000 jobs. And the Army Soldier Systems Center in Natick will remain open.

The sprawling Westover Joint Air Reserve Base in Chicopee also benefits under the Pentagon proposal, along with Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield. An Army Reserve training center in Devens will close, as will a smaller Army Reserve facility at Westover and a Navy shipyard in Boston.

In all, the state stands to gain 491 military and civilian jobs at its bases -- with the biggest gains at Hanscom.

The biggest losses would be at Otis, which employs more than 500 people, many of them civilians, making it one of the largest employers on the Cape.

"They live here, they shop here," said Rob Peterson, manager of the Wallace Food Mart in Sandwich, near the base entrance. "From car washes to convenience stores, this will be felt."

Otis is located on the 22,000-acre Massachusetts Military Reservation in Sandwich, Mashpee, Falmouth and Bourne. Home to the 102nd Fighter Wing, its F-15 Eagles are on continuous alert to protect the Northeast from terrorist attacks and drug smuggling.

Fighter jets from Otis were the first to arrive in New York on Sept. 11, 2001, when two planes were hijacked from Boston's Logan International Airport and crashed into the World Trade Center in New York.

"Otis is the number one base for homeland defense on the entire East Coast," Sen. John Kerry said. "It simply makes no sense to close Otis in the post 9/11 world."

Sandwich Chamber of Commerce president David Curtis said he hopes the military jobs can be replaced by private-sector employers, citing the development in nearby communities after the Army closed Fort Devens in central Massachusetts in the early 1990s.

"Long term, actually, I think the economic development would more than offset the job loss, through job creation, through additional and very attractive affordable housing being made available," he said.

"It's prime acreage no matter how you look at it," agreed Tom Otto, of Marstons Mills, over lunch Friday at Peterson's sandwich shop in Sandwich.

The base closing recommendations by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld will be submitted to the independent Base Realignment and Closure Commission, which will hold hearings and make a final recommendation to President Bush by Sept. 8.

Otis' commander, Col. Paul Worcester, said he would remind members of the 102nd that the Pentagon's recommendations are subject to revision and they must stay focused on their mission.

"This is the Department of Defense's initial hack at what they think the Department of Defense ought to look like," he said. "Our job isn't going away tonight, tomorrow, next week."

Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce chief executive Wendy Northcross said her group will work to have the recommendation reversed.

"We still have an opportunity to lobby the government to try and save the base," she said.

As part of their effort to spare Otis from closing, Gov. Mitt Romney and members of Congress have urged federal officials to establish a homeland security training center there.

"The job ahead is to convince the base closing commission of the value of keeping Otis open," said Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom.

The recommendation to close Otis was the worst news of the day for Massachusetts, which otherwise fared well in the base realignment plan.

Members of Congress and state and local officials had lobbied hard to keep Hanscom from closing, proposing a $410 million expansion in a bid to make it indispensable to the military.

The base, located amid Boston's northwestern suburbs, employs about 30,000 people and is a leading research and development center for cutting-edge military technology. Under the Pentagon's proposal, operations from three other Air Force bases would be transferred to Hanscom, resulting in a gain of about 1,100 jobs.

"It's high tech, and that's where Hanscom has its full potential," said U.S. Rep. Martin Meehan, D-Mass.

Natick Labs develops and tests food and clothing for the troops, as well as other equipment, shelter and aerial delivery systems. It employs about 2,000 people, and the realignment would result in the loss of just 19 jobs.

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy called the facility "the rock of our military."

Westover, at 2,500 acres the nation's largest Air Force Reserve base, would see a net gain of 80 jobs under the Pentagon proposal. Col. Wade Farris, commander of the 439th Airlift Wing at Westover, said he felt "relief, a lot of relief" at the news.
 

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Okay.................

1. There will be a lot of political oil burning to save some of these bases.
2. Otis is an environmental disaster, it's not the prime real estate some might think.
3. Historically less than 25% of recommended closings or consolidations actually happen

Close Subase NLON? Say it isn't so. Where are we gonna keep east coast subs parked, in Norfolk? (place sucks)
:uc:
 

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mpd61";p="64788 said:
Okay.................

Close Subase NLON? Say it isn't so. Where are we gonna keep east coast subs parked, in Norfolk? (place sucks)
:uc:
That would also kill GD/EB. Not practical to use EB for a quick oil change and tune-up :twisted: when the sub base is 600 miles away! [I have no vested interest in EB, I used to work there in the early 1970s.]

This would be one of the dumbest things we could do as a nation!
 

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Four Connecticut military bases land on Pentagon’s closure list

HARTFORD - Four Connecticut military bases are on the Pentagon’s list of installations to be closed.

The U.S. Naval Submarine Base in Groton is one of the bases on the list. Closing the Groton installation would result in the loss of more than 7,000 military jobs and 952 civilian jobs.

The Pentagon also recommended closing the U.S. Army Reserve Center in New Haven, the Turner U.S. Army Reserve Center in Fairfield and the U.S. Army Reserve Center Maintenance Support Facility in Middletown. The list also calls for realigning an Air National Guard station at Bradley International Airport.

Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) called the recommendations "irrational and irresponsible". The base closings could result in a net loss of 29,005 military and civilian jobs at domestic installations.






Honestly, I've lived in Fairfield all my life, and I thought that place was closed!
 

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Of course Groton/New London are gonna close, the Navy just sunk a bunch of money into King's Bay, looks like thats the place. as for Norfolk sucking, I couldn't agree more.
 

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Maybe this state, and new england as a whole, would not have been hit so hard, if our congressional delegations were not so consistantly anti military. These are the same people that our unions work so hard to keep puting in office.
 

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pmedic9";p="66066 said:
Maybe this state, and new england as a whole, would not have been hit so hard, if our congressional delegations were not so consistantly anti military. These are the same people that our unions work so hard to keep puting in office.
Excellent point. It seems some people forget these things.

By the way. I had the opportunity to see Gov. Romney and both US Senators speak on this issue...John Kerry is still very bitter about the election. He said he "didn't want to dwell" on the past, but "during my campaign, I said the BRAC process should be eliminated"...then he randomly started bitching about President Bush's proposed tax cuts for next year...the governor had to try very hard to keep from laughing.

And Yes. Ted Kennedy is still a fat socialist pig, but the good news is he appeared somewhat sober when speaking.

Take it one day at a time, Splash!

trent
 

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Here is some food for thought for conspiracy theorists: The latest BRAC round has many bases relocating from the Northeast to the south. Are the Confederates reloading?

-Just a little humor for a depressing topic.
 

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I'm surprised that little Army Reserve Centers are even considered as a base closing. Real bases are as big as towns and cities, sadly most people in the northeast don't even know what a real military base is, because our active duty forces are primarily in the southern U.S., very sad. The northeastern U.S. has lost many major bases and we are about to loose a few more. Should the military ever need to establish large installations in the northeast again it will never be able to aquire enough territory because former bases will have already been sold off for private development.
 

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Its gonna be a tough sell for some of these bases, most are so contaminated its gonna cost a lot of money to clean up and get to EPA standards before they can even look at selling them. Its almost not even worth it. Your looking at spending more to clean it than you would get in the sale price. I guess the only plus would be property taxes for the city....
 

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The proposed closings of Otis and Groton/New London appear to be odd, considering that "homeland defense" has been such a big focus of our government. Geographically, the northeast is the closest to Europe and North Africa, which obviously boarder the Middle East and other volitile locations world wide.

Just in the past three weeks there have been three trans-Atlantic flights diverted to Bangor ME or Halifax Nova Scotia due to concerns of terrorism. According the news reports aircraft from Otis have been involved or sent to assist in all three. It just seems to me those would be slightly more strategic locations due the northeast having many points of entry via air and sea that could be vulnerable.
 

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Dont forget that there is a Naval Air Station in Brunswick, ME...Groton is mostly a training base for the subs and thats all probably gonna end up in Georgia
 

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There is a Naval Air Station in Maine however, I don't believe that there are Navy fighter planes there. Not that it would matter, I don't think the Navy maintains an alert fighter mission like the Air Force does at select bases such as Otis.
 
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