|July 14, 2005|
WASHINGTON, D.C.--The Secretary of Defense this morning submitted to Congress and the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) his recommendations for military facility closures and realignments. The Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Carswell Field (NAS JRB), was not on that list and in addition, the Defense Secretary recommends the realignment of over 400 personnel, four C-130H aircraft and depot maintenance expansion to NAS JRB Fort Worth.
“I’m extremely pleased to learn that DoD has directed the realignment of additional missions, personnel and aircraft to NAS JRB,” said Congresswoman Kay Granger. “We have always felt we had a very compelling case to expand NAS JRB’s missions should the Pentagon decide to do so.”
The Pentagon recommends the realignment of over 400 personnel to NAS JRB; that aircraft and necessary personnel, equipment and support from NAS Atlanta, which was recommended for closure, be realigned to NAS JRB Fort Worth, NAS New Orleans and NAS Robins in Georgia; and the relocation of depot maintenance Aircraft Components, Aircraft Engines, Fabrication and Manufacturing, and Support Equipment in support of F/A-18, C-9 and C-12 be realigned to NAS JRB Fort Worth. Additionally, four C-130H aircraft are recommended for realignment from the Will Rogers’ Air Guard Station in Oklahoma to NAS JRB Fort Worth.
“Having lived through the painful realignment of Carswell Air Force Base in the early nineties as mayor, my thoughts and best wishes go out to those communities who have been selected in this BRAC round,” said Granger.
For the past 18 months, the Fort Worth’s BRAC Strategic Task Force conducted an in-depth analysis that indicated NAS JRB could absorb additional aircraft and personnel smoothly and easily. The base also has one of the few 12,000 ft. runways in the country and over 5.3 million square feet of ramp space.
“The community welcomes the expansion of NAS JRB’s roles and missions,” said Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief. “We look forward to welcoming those units, personnel and their families to the greatest city in the country and offer them a hearty Fort Worth welcome.”
The number one proposed criteria established for determining which bases are likely to be retained under the “Selection Criteria for Closing and Realigning Military Installations inside the United States” is military value, based on current and future mission capabilities and the impact on operational readiness of the Department of Defense’s total force, including the impact on joint war fighting, training and readiness.
“When the Pentagon outlined its criteria for 2005 the number one criteria was joint training and joint war fighting—that is what we do at NAS JRB better than anywhere else in the country,” said Granger.
The Navy itself has long stated that joint bases are the way of the future and the North Central Texas is a prime location for a joint base. In fact, the Air Force identified the region as having the best recruitment demographics for the reserve mission in the nation. This was part of the rational behind the original realignment of the NAS Dallas, Memphis and Detroit base to create the joint Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth. Additionally, the NAS JRB, with its 10,000 personnel and numerous missions, also creates an economic benefit of $1.4 billion annually to the local economy.
NAS JRB is the only truly joint military facility in the United States with 1,857 active duty military personnel, 1,936 civilian employees, 6,736 reservists and 10,539 total personnel. It also houses a mix of 68 aircraft including fighters and transporters, and could absorb up to 186 additional aircraft and related personnel. NAS JRB directs over 50,000 flight operations each year.
After receiving the recommendations today from the Secretary of Defense, the BRAC Commission will now spend the next few months reviewing the Secretary’s recommendations, and add or remove bases from the list. By September 8th, the Commission will submit to the president their final recommendations which the president has to accept or reject in full. Once the president approves the Commission’s recommendations, the list is submitted to Congress for final approval.
Granger serves on the Appropriations Committee and the powerful defense appropriations subcommittee. She also serves as a majority whip. Granger is the first and only female Republican to serve in the Texas House delegation. Granger represents the 12th District of Texas and is currently serving in her fifth term in Congress.