Governor Bob McDonnell issued the following statement on news today from Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta that the President will request Congress authorize use of the Base Re-Alignment and Closure (BRAC) process.
"The news today from Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta that the President will request Congress authorize use of the Base Re-Alignment and Closure (BRAC) process with a goal of identifying efficient savings that can be reinvested in higher priorities was not entirely unexpected. The Commonwealth is fully engaged and ready to tackle these potential challenges to our military installations. We will work closely with the Department of Defense to illustrate Virginia's commitment to the military - active, reserve and veteran forces - which has led the Commonwealth to be a strategic location for military bases for many years, and allowed Virginia to experience an overall growth in military when previous BRAC decisions have shifted more personnel to installations such as Fort Lee, Fort Belvoir and Marine Corps Base Quantico.
Virginia supports the Department of Defense's efforts to seek needed efficiencies to the benefit of our fighting forces, which is why my administration fully anticipated announcements of efforts to identify and implement additional efficiencies and possible future BRAC actions. This is one of the primary reasons we formed the Virginia Commission on Military and National Security Facilities last year. This commission, which serves as my administration's main advising body on issues such as BRAC, consists of former flag and general officers, former defense department personnel, defense industry leaders, state legislators and all of the Commonwealth's congressional members. The group is chaired by former congressman Tom Davis and includes Secretary of Commerce and Trade Jim Cheng and Secretary of Technology Jim Duffey. Additionally, in 2011 I worked with the General Assembly to elevate responsibility for overall military and defense industrial base protection strategies to the cabinet level by creating the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security. Terrie Suit now serves in this new capacity for the Commonwealth and is also a member of the Commission. Over the past year her office, with the advice of the Commission, has worked toward detailing our strategy and response to these potential actions. We will now put these plans into action, in partnership with our congressional delegation and local representatives, as we work with the DoD as they consider future BRAC decisions."