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Florida fights to stop Pentagon from cutting military presence

 
Bush Dynasty Strikes Again
07/22/2005 08:43 PM
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Florida fights to stop Pentagon from cutting military presence
Posted on Fri, Jul. 22, 2005



Florida fights to stop Pentagon from cutting military presence

CAIN BURDEAU

Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS - Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on Friday told a commission looking at streamlining U.S. military bases to put more military resources into Florida, which he called "the most military friendly state in the country."

Officials from Louisiana and Mississippi also lined up Friday to try to persuade the Base Closure and Realignment Commission that closing bases and scrapping programs in their states would be a mistake. It was the last of several scheduled regional hearings around the nation.

Florida is poised to gain jobs overall despite big losses at Pensacola. According to Pentagon figures, Florida would gain 2,757 jobs.

Florida officials argued against cuts at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, which is called the "cradle of naval aviation" because of the area´s long history as a Navy training and operations center.

Under the Pentagon´s plan, the base´s Navy Officer Training Command would be moved to Newport, R.I., and other training programs would be consolidated with the Navy´s personnel bureau at Millington, Tenn.

Florida officials say moving training to Rhode Island makes little sense because many officers would still return to Pensacola for more training.

Instead, Florida officials argued that Pensacola should become an even larger training center because it would be a better investment than Rhode Island.

With 18,700 square miles of restricted air space in the Gulf of Mexico, a sunny climate and relatively low cost of living, Pensacola is an ideal site for the Navy, retired Vice Admiral Jack Fetterman told the commission. Fetterman spoke on behalf of the air station.

"We in Pensacola love it, believe in it. We have a good quality of life," he said. "We believe it is a high risk move to execute this plan."

Streamlining the base is estimated to cost 302 military jobs and about 1,280 civilian and contractor jobs.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., highlighted Florida´s location on the Gulf and Atlantic Ocean as ideal airspace for weapons systems training. He called the Pentagon´s recommendations "illogical" because they do not take advantage of Florida´s existing military infrastructure.

Bush acknowledged that the commission faced tough decisions and that it was necessary to streamline the military, but he added that the military should add programs in Florida. He pointed out that the state has educational and other programs that favor military personnel and their families.

"All of these initiatives have made Florida the most military friendly state in the nation," he said.

Bush also argued that Florida´s geography is ideally suited for expanding the military´s presence in the state.

"The value of our bases is not just about brick and mortar, it´s about the land, air and sea operating spaces around our bases," he said.

Florida is also pushing to make the Naval Station Mayport, near Jacksonville, a homebase for nuclear aircraft carriers.

The commission must give its recommendations to President Bush by Sept. 8. The president must accept or reject the recommendations in their entirety. If he accepts them, Congress would have 45 legislative days or until the end of its 2005 session to reject the recommendations in their entirety or they become final.

If they are disapproved, the commission has until Oct. 20, 2005, to submit a revised report to the president. The president has until Nov. 7, 2005, to approve a revised report and send it to Congress.

The Pentagon then has six years to close, relocate or downsize bases on the final list.

[link to www.miami.com]
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:13 AM
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Re: Florida fights to stop Pentagon from cutting military presence
What kind of a moron cuts out military bases during a time of endless war that he has started with lies and deceits?


WTF are all the fucking BILLIONS Bush has bilked out of taxpayers for his wars? Our troops certainly didn´t see any of that money, OUR MONEY.
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:13 AM
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Re: Florida fights to stop Pentagon from cutting military presence
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:13 AM
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Re: Florida fights to stop Pentagon from cutting military presence
Bush struts around, he´s "The War president" and at the same time has systematically destroyed the American Military. Where have all the real men gone that would stand up to the neo-con enemies of America.

WTF is John Wayne when you need him?

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