Fort Sill would benefit under BRAC decision

Wednesday, August 24th 2005, 9:49 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The Base Closure and Realignment Commission decided Wednesday to move air defense artillery units at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, to Fort Sill in Lawton, a move that could bring significant economic benefits to Oklahoma.

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., who serves on the House Armed Services Committee and whose district includes Tinker Air Force Base and Fort Sill, has said such a move could bring more thousands of military and private sector jobs to the Lawton area as well as millions of dollars in construction activity.

The Texas delegation had lobbied hard to keep the more than 4,000 jobs associated with the air defense artillery units at Fort Bliss. Another 2,100 private sector jobs would be associated with the move.

None of Oklahoma's five major military installations have been recommended for closure by the Pentagon or the Base Closure and Realignment Commission, and Cole said he was confident this would not change.

The commission plans to submit its final recommendations to President Bush by September 8. The president will either forward the report to Congress or return it to the commission for further evaluation.