WISCONSIN LAWMAKERS CONTINUE FIGHT TO PROTECT WISCONSIN MILITARY FACILITIES
U.S. Senators Herb Kohl, Russ Feingold and Congressman Ron Kind and Congresswoman Gwen Moore today issued the following joint statement in response to the Department of Defense Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission announcement this morning. Initial review of the BRAC list shows that Wisconsin will not lose any National Guard bases or units, and all Guardsmen and women will stay in Wisconsin. The list recommends the closure of the 440th Airlift Wing in Milwaukee, however, and the realignment of Ft. McCoy.
"After initial review of the BRAC impact list released this morning, it appears that the administration intends for most Wisconsin military installations to continue providing valuable assistance and resources to our Armed Forces. However, we are extremely disappointed that the administration is proposing to close the 440th in Milwaukee, which continues to be a vital resource for the military. And while it remains to be known what the exact impact of the Fort McCoy realignment plan will be, we remain committed to helping ensure the economic vitality of Ft. McCoy and the surrounding area. Throughout this process we have worked together and extensively with communities to prepare for the 2005 BRAC round and provide information to accurately inform the DOD in its decision making process. Having examined the DOD's criteria in selecting military installations for closure and realignment, we feel that all Wisconsin installations fulfill, and in many circumstances exceed, the standards of the criteria. As we move into the next phase of the 2005 BRAC process, we intend to exhaust all available options to protect the 440th, Fort McCoy and the other Wisconsin military facilities."
The four Wisconsin lawmakers, along with Governor Doyle and local leaders, prepared a series of reports detailing the importance of Wisconsin's military installations that have been presented to Pentagon officials involved in the decision making process.
The BRAC Commission will review the Secretary's list of proposed closures and is scheduled to submit the final list to President Bush for review and approval by September 8, 2005. The President can either approve or disapprove the entire BRAC list. If approved, the list is submitted to Congress for a vote on the entire list within 45 days. If Congress fails to act, the list is automatically approved and has the "force and effect of law." If the President disapproves the BRAC recommendations, a revised list from the commission is due to the President by October 20, 2005.