News Releases

Friday, May 13, 2005

Chambliss, Isakson Vow to Vigorously Defend Georgia Bases
List puts Georgia 2nd in the Nation for military gains

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today said that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's recommendation to close Naval Air Station Atlanta, Ft. McPherson, Ft. Gillem, and the Athens Naval Supply School will be met with strong opposition from Georgia's entire congressional delegation, Governor Sonny Perdue and Georgia communities. The four bases were included in the Department of Defense's recommendations to the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission for military bases to be closed or realigned nationwide.

The Senators pointed out that despite four Georgia bases being targeted for closure, the recommended list also puts Georgia as the 2nd in the nation for net gains - nationwide. This means Georgia will stand to benefit from other closures and realignments from other states - including employment, missions, personnel and payroll.

"We will make the strongest possible case that these bases are vital to the national security of the United States," said Chambliss. "We will do everything possible to impress upon the Commission that these bases make valuable contributions to the national security of the United States. Having been through this process before, I know we have a fight on our hands, but as a team, the Governor, Sen. Isakson, our congressional delegation, community leaders and myself, we will make a convincing case based on the key criteria in defense of these bases."

"Georgia has fought this battle before and we are well prepared to fight it again this time," said Isakson. "These bases that are on the list are invaluable to our state and to our nation's military and we will waste no time in making a very strong case to the Commission that these bases should not be closed. Our state and community leaders have joined together to defend these installations and we will do everything in our power to save them."

Chambliss and Isakson said the announcement making Georgia the 2nd net gainer in the country as a result was also significant in that it means the several Georgia bases would gain new missions and responsibilities. For example, the list recommends that Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ft. Benning, Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, Moody Air Force Base, Robbins Air Force Base, Submarine Base Kings Bay and Savannah International Airport Air Guard Station would all take on additional missions.

"While we have a fight on our hands to defend Georgia bases, I am pleased DOD has recognized Georgia by assigning Georgia additional missions," said Chambliss. "This further validates all the hard work Georgia bases contribute to the national security of the United States."

"The overall impact of these recommendations is that Georgia has been recognized for what it is - a major contributor to our national defense and our national security. We will make gains in employment, gains in missions, gains in personnel and gains in payroll," Isakson said.

The Senators said the announcement marks the beginning of a process that will last several months. Now, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission, which was appointed by President Bush, will review the recommendations.

The review process will include congressional hearings, visits to the bases and their communities and regional hearings. At the regional hearings, the Governor, Senators Chambliss and Isakson and community officials will testify on behalf of the bases. By September 8, 2005, the Commission will make its final recommendation to President Bush. By November 2005, the President will make his final recommendation to the Congress for approval.

For more information, please click here to visit the Department of Defense BRAC website.