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Texas Spared Base Closings

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

The commission weighing the Pentagon's plan to restructure hundreds of U.S. military bases on Wednesday spared an Army depot in Texas and a submarine base in Connecticut from being shut down.

However, as it began final voting Wednesday with lightning speed, the panel agreed with Pentagon proposals to close several other major bases elsewhere and approved most of the recommendations made by the Army and the Navy. Many were changes at relatively small facilities

The nine-member panel chose to keep open the Red River Army Depot in Texas and Submarine Base New London in Connecticut, against the Pentagon's wishes.

The panel sided with the Pentagon in voting to close other major Army bases - Fort Gillem and Fort McPherson in Georgia, Fort Monroe in Virginia, Army Garrison Selfridge in Michigan and Fort Monmouth in New Jersey.

The panel also signed off on closing nearly 400 Army Reserve and National Guard facilities in dozens of states, creating instead new joint centers.

Most of the Army's proposal was approved in minutes and as a package before the commission moved on to the fate of Navy bases.

Commissioners had said changes to the Pentagon's proposal were likely before they send their final report next month to President Bush, who could make his own changes.

Congress also will get the chance to approve a joint resolution rejecting the plan after Bush considers it. Lawmakers haven't done that in previous rounds.

The panel must send its final proposal to Bush by Sept. 8. The president can accept the report or order the commission to make changes.

A look at votes on military bases in Texas

Here's a look at how the Base Realignment and Closure Commission voted Wednesday on Texas military installations:

- Red River Army Depot: Realign the depot instead of close it, as recommended by the Pentagon. Retain work on the work on Humvees and Bradleys and move parts of the depot's mission elsewhere.

- Fort Hood: Relocate 4th Infantry Division combat brigade and headquarters unit to Fort Carson, Colo. Relocate maneuver battalions, a support battalion and aviation units to Fort Bliss.

- Fort Bliss: relocate air defense artillery units to Fort Sill and relocate 1st Armored Division and various units from Germany and Korea to Fort Bliss.

- Close several Texas Army Reserves centers in Texas and relocate them within Texas.


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