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Statement by John Kerry On Pentagon's Base Closure List

Location: Unknown

"In a very tough round of base closures in which many states stand to lose thousands of jobs, Massachusetts has been spared the worst pain of the Pentagon's difficult decisions. Hanscom, Barnes and Westover will all see gains in both military and civilian personnel, but that does little to address the anxiety many Massachusetts families and communities are facing.

"I'm disappointed that, despite our aggressive efforts to save all our Massachusetts bases, some are on the Pentagon's list. As the BRAC Commission reviews the list, we will continue to make a very strong case for keeping each of them open.

"First and foremost, it's a mistake to close Otis Air Force Base. Otis is the number one base for homeland defense on the entire East Coast. The F-15s at Otis were the first to arrive over New York City on September 11; it's on the direct path of commercial flights from Europe; and it's ideally located to protect New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., with aircraft able to travel at supersonic speeds at a moment's notice. It simply makes no sense to close Otis in the post 9/11 world.

"We'll also keep working to strengthen Natick through the process.

"Working together with Sen. Kennedy, our congressional delegation and Gov. Romney we'll be making every effort to show the BRAC Commission why it's in America's interest to keep these bases up and running."

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