Monterey language school (DLI) escapes base closures

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Fri Aug 26 13:55:44 UTC 2005

 Posted on Fri, Aug. 26, 2005

Calif. officials generally pleased as base panel wraps up work

Associated Press

WASHINGTON - With a military base-closing commission close to wrapping up
its work, California officials were breathing easier, saying the news for
the state has been mostly good - especially compared to earlier rounds of
base closings.

In four earlier rounds from 1988 to 1995, California lost more than two
dozen major bases and some 93,000 jobs, a hit that accounted for nearly 30
percent of the total bases closed or consolidated nationwide.

This time around the Pentagon focused much of the brunt of its cuts on the
Northeast, leaving California better off than many states.

The nine-member Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission, which can
make changes to the Pentagon's recommendations, didn't cause any
additional pain to the state through two busy days of votes Wednesday and
Thursday. The commission, which was expected to finish its work Friday,
was not expected to make any major changes for California to the
Pentagon's recommendations.

"California came out of the BRAC process as well as could be expected,"
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said in a statement Thursday. "It is my
understanding that the net job loss will not be more than 2,000."

On Thursday, the commission decided to spare two key Monterey, Calif.,
facilities it had earlier threatened to close or move - the Defense
Language Institute and the Naval Postgraduate School.

But while the overall picture for the state was relatively bright, some
military bases in California did lose out.

The commission on Thursday approved the Pentagon's plans to transfer jobs
and warfare and weapons systems missions to Naval Air Weapons Station
China Lake in Kern County from the Naval Base Ventura County at Point Mugu
and Point Hueneme.

The move would directly cost the Ventura County base 2,257 jobs, according
to the office of Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Simi Valley, who represents part
of the area.

Under the Pentagon's plan, that loss would have been offset by gains from
the shutdown of the Naval Surface Warfare System in Norco, which would
have moved nearly 900 jobs to Point Mugu. But, the commission voted
Wednesday to keep Norco open.

"The unfortunate consequence of this decision will be a brain drain
because most of the civilian workers simply will not move to China Lake,"
Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Sherman Oaks, said in a statement.

Overall, the Pentagon has proposed closing or consolidating a record 62
major military installations and 775 smaller ones nationwide to save $48.8
billion over 20 years, streamline the services and reposition the armed
forces to face current threats.

Even with the losses in past base closure rounds, California remains home
to more military installations than any other state, accounting for 11.3
percent of the total nationwide, according to the California Institute for
Federal Policy Research.

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