Barrow Defends Athens Navy Supply Corps School; Testifies Before BRAC Commission
Testifying before a regional hearing of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC), 12th District Congressman John Barrow today detailed how the Secretary of Defense's recommendation to move the Navy Supply Corps School from Athens, Georgia, to Newport, Rhode Island, will prove "a logistical and strategic mistake."
Given only two minutes to address the commission, Barrow outlined the extensive military value and cost effectiveness of the Navy School - assets that would be lost if the Pentagon moves forward with its proposed plans for realignment. Barrow's remarks also served as a formal introduction for Captain George Huban, an Athens community leader and former Commanding Officer in the Navy, who gave a detailed and persuasive presentation for keeping the multi-function military training facility in Athens:
"Good Morning. On May 25th of this year, approximately two weeks after the initial BRAC list was announced, Admiral Gehman of this commission toured the Supply Corps School in Athens - the first time that anyone representing this BRAC commission had toured the facility.
"On that day, the Admiral saw first hand what the rest of us have known for quite some time now: The Navy Supply Corps School is a model in 21st Century military efficiency - a cost effective, multi-function, logistical think tank that provides state-of-the-art training to all branches of our nation's armed forces.
"It performs its core capabilities smarter, faster, and cheaper than any other Department of Defense school.
"Moving the Navy School to Newport, Rhode Island, is a logistical and strategic mistake that will not only increase the school's operating costs, but will actually decrease the military value of the school's training resources.
"Over prior BRAC rounds, the Navy School has acquired additional assignments and personnel because of its military value, training excellence, cost effectiveness, and superior facilities.
"We are most fortunate in Athens to have a volunteer support team in our Navy Task Force Committee: in particular, our Chairman, Jim LaBoon, a prominent banker, as well as two former Commanding Officers who have made Athens their home - Captain's Len Sapera and George Huban. They are just a few of the many individuals who have worked diligently to put our presentation together.
"In the following presentation, Captain Huban will show in detail how the May 13th recommendation to close and relocate the Athens Navy Supply Corps School substantially deviated from the military criteria listed in BRAC."