Gov. Perry Names Roger Williams to Chair BRAC Response Strike Force
Secretary of State Will Lead Efforts to Remove Texas Bases From Closure, Realignment List
Gov. Rick Perry today named Secretary of State Roger Williams to chair the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Response Strike Force, which has been formed to develop a plan of action in response to preliminary plans of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to close four military bases in Texas and realign six others.
"Secretary of State Roger Williams is a powerful advocate for Texas with a tremendous gift for persuasive communication," Perry said. "I can think of no better individual to lead the charge to demonstrate to federal officials that Texas' world-class bases should be preserved and protected for the War on Terror."
The governor issued an executive order creating the BRAC Response Task Force on May 13 after the DOD proposed closing four Texas bases - Red River Army Depot in Texarkana, Naval Station Ingleside, Brooks City Base in San Antonio and Lone Star Army Ammunitions Plant near Texarkana for possible closure. Six other bases were identified for realignment and seven National Guard reserve centers were placed on the possible closure list.
"We don't have much time, but we've already started laying the groundwork for the task at hand, communicating with local leaders and analyzing the rationale for these recommendations," Williams said
"This is an emotional time for many Texas communities, but we're going to rely on a thorough, aggressive presentation of the facts to demonstrate the value of these facilities," Williams added. "It's our job to show that Texas bases contribute - in both a militarily strategic way and in an economic way - to the future security of Texas and our country. We'll get that job done."
Williams will head a group consisting of representatives of 14 state agencies, boards and commissions: Adjutant General's Department, Bond Review Board, General Land Office, Texas Office of State-Federal Relations, Office of the Attorney General, Public Utility Commission of Texas, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas Department of Information Resources, Texas Department of Transportation, Texas Education Agency, Texas Historical Commission, Texas Military Preparedness Commission, Texas Public Finance Authority, Texas Water Development Board and Texas Workforce Commission.
Under Perry's executive order, the BRAC Response Strike Force will take four immediate actions:
* Review the Pentagon's findings on Texas installations recommended for realignment and closure.
* Seek any necessary revisions to the Pentagon's recommendations and provide BRAC leaders with additional information to ensure they have a complete and accurate perspective.
* Identify aggressive steps that Texas can take to begin to remedy problem areas before the preliminary recommendations are adopted and bases are ordered closed.
* Identify actions to assist defense-dependent communities who have been positively impacted by BRAC 2005 in order to accommodate new infrastructure and service requirements.
Perry appointed Williams as Texas' 105th Secretary of State in November 2004.
Williams is chairman of the board of Roger Williams AutoMall in Weatherford and Vestry Financial Corp. of Fort Worth.
From 1974 to 1995 Williams was president and chief executive officer of Jack Williams AutoMall, the multiple-line dealership founded by his father, Jack Williams, in 1958.
A former professional baseball player, Williams played for the Atlanta Braves farm team from 1971 to 1974 and owned and operated the San Antonio Brewers professional baseball club from 1972 to 1975. He also served as assistant head coach and later head coach for the baseball team at Texas Christian University, his alma mater.
Williams has been recognized nationally for his business expertise, as a 1981 inductee into the Automobile Hall of Fame and as the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce Businessman of the Year in 1984. He was named by Time magazine as Automobile Dealer of the Year in 1985 and by Sports Illustrated as Import Automobile Dealer of the Year in 1986. Lockheed Martin Management Association named Williams Manager of the Year in 1977.
A graduate of Arlington Heights High School, Williams was a baseball standout at TCU in the 1960s. He was an All-State high school athlete, and a member of the All-Southwest Conference Baseball Team. He was inducted into the TCU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1989.
He and his wife, Patty, have two daughters, Jaclyn and Sabrina.