Rep. Owens slams base closing proposal

The Obama administration is proposing another BRACC-style base closings process to downsize the US military.  And while there’s no evidence yet that Fort Drum near Watertown would be a target, the proposal is already drawing fierce condemnation from Rep Bill Owens (D-Plattsburgh).

Owens tells NCPR he was assured by the Pentagon that no base-closing initiative was being planned:

“The last time we asked it was about thirty days ago, we we’re told it’s absolutely not on the radar.  So, I’m not happy about htat as you can imagine.  To say the least, I’m really annoyed by this.  I think it was done really unprofessionally.”

Owens, who sits on the Armed Services Committee, is himself a former Air Force officer who lived in Plattsburgh when the last major “BRACC” base-closure process torpedoed Plattsburgh Air Force Base.

Many locals, including Owens, thought that process was unfair and politicized.

“It was supposed to be non-political.  But it was very clear that the person who was the head of the BRACC commission was from New Jersey and, miraculously, that Air Force base was saved.  It really raised some very substantial questions in my mind about the fairness of the process and whether or not it was done on the up and up.”

Owens says he doubts that closing military bases will achieve substantial cost savings, as the Pentagon has promised.  The congressman says he wants to see a plan for better efficiency first, before a major round of reductions is considered.

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7 Comments on “Rep. Owens slams base closing proposal”

  1. Sic ‘em, Bill! These BRACC battles are definitely proof postive that the ‘squeaky wheel’ get’s ‘greased’ (keeps it’s base).

    We should be building/staffing up bases on the borders, not closing them ▌and, the bases that SHOULD be under BRACC review are the nearly 1000 overseas bases we maintain at GREAT expense.

    The problem w/our global empire America base system is that unlike past ‘Empires’: Soviet, British, Spanish, Dutch, French, Roman, Greek; we aren’t extracting any wealth!! We are actually sending them JOBS and MONEY! Talk about having it bass-ackwards…

    Either we put on the ‘black hat’ and start vacuuming the wealth and resources outta these psuedo-colonies like a REAL empire ▌and / or we go
    Mafiaso and start ‘selling’ protection / charging for every job, every base or… we close shop, SELL the bases, and bring the troops home.

    Take the savings, pay for Universal Medicare ‘E’ for everyone and invest the dif in new bases on our borders, bumping up the Coast Guard and the Navy too.

    Saving money by BRACC-ing US bases, pure nose-cutting, face-spiting nonsense.

  2. If Clapton is God, Warren Haynes is Jesus says:

    Ken,

    Absolutely right on….Truth is we should have undergone a BRAC process for overseas bases decades ago.

    On top of overseas base closures, we need to seriously cut back on the truly expensive toys all our armed services procure and operate. 11 fully operational carrier groups? Couldn’t we get by with 6? Do we need a submarine fleet that is larger than most countries entire navy combined? Do we need yet another stealth fighter plane (F-35) after we just built the F-22? To the tune of nearly a Trillion dollars over the course of it’s build out time? A Trillion dollars for one weapons program we don’t need?

    What’s really happening here with the latest proposed BRAC process and cuts to personnel benefits like wages, health care, and retirement benefits, etc. is the continued emphasis on maintaining the profits for arms manufacturers and defense contractors who make billions equipping the military and operating overseas bases. Raytheon, General Dynamics, Haliburton, Boeing, KKR, etc…If you actually consider where the cuts are being proposed it’s pretty obvious who’s lobbying the politicians and the brass in the Pentagon.

  3. Geek says:

    It’s about jobs and not Defense. I am shocked that anyone believed that a BRAC was not going to be proposed and if that is not the approved cut backs and layoffs will happen. Nobody wants to have their tax’s raised for a large Defense an on one wants reductions to Social Security, Medicare and Defense.

    The shocker is anyone believing that calling for a BRAC was not in the cards and be there no mistake if a BRAC does not happen, major cutbacks will occur. Regarding Plattsburgh and Rome (BTW) stupidity allowed that to happen within NY.

  4. Two Cents says:

    Trade in one F-22 and send kids to College, gratis.

  5. Mervel says:

    Come on two cents we need those f-22′s who knows when the Soviets will invade West Germany.

  6. Mervel says:

    The shrinking of the traditional military means less men and women in the military, that seems to be the direction we are going. Less troops means less bases.

    Given Obama’s plan of exerting our influence and power to the East, I think we can expect more overseas base operations throughout the Far East, not less, navel installations for certain.

  7. Walker says:

    Yes, but once we have the Death Star operational, we won’t need all those stinking bases.

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