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Oklahoma City housing company could benefit from base realignment

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Realignment of U.S. military bases and shifts in troops overseas could provide opportunities for Benham Cos. and its partners in the military housing business.

If Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's realignment recommendations are approved by Congress and President Bush, an alliance of Benham, GMH Military Housing and Centex Construction stands to gain about 16,000 housing units through personnel being transferred to installations where the companies are working, according to GMH.

Beyond the direct benefit of building new homes, Stephen G. Tompkins, director of corporate communications for Oklahoma City-based Benham, said the companies could also see gains in the private sector.

``We all see opportunities on the civilian side in the ... process as well,'' he said. ``Military communities receiving an influx of new personnel and their families will require new schools ... medical centers, cultural and recreational facilities and other infrastructure improvements.''

In the past few years, Benham and its partners have won multimillion-dollar contracts to design, construct, renovate and manage housing at seven Army installations and eight Navy bases. About 25 percent of Benham's revenues come from work in the federal sector, mostly with the Defense Department.

As the armed forces continue to modernize and shift their priorities, more opportunities could be created in military housing.

``Over the next 10 years, the Pentagon is relocating from Europe and Korea 70,000 military personnel and 100,000 family members,'' Tompkins said. ``This will require new base housing ... dining halls, aircraft hangars, maintenance shops, headquarters and command-and-control centers, and training ranges.''
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