Oklahoma's congressional delegation oppose BRAC changes

Friday, October 28th 2005, 6:04 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Members of Oklahoma's congressional delegation helped reject a last-minute effort to stop the 2005 round of military base closures and realignments.

The measure -- defeated Thursday 324-to-85 -- would have rejected the recommendations from the BRAC commission and scrapped the federal military base closing list. Its defeat effectively ends the BRAC process and preserves Oklahoma's major military installations.

Representative Tom Cole says the Pentagon will now move forward with implementing the recommendations, which will increase both jobs and military missions in Oklahoma.

Representative Frank Lucas says residents of Enid and Altus can reset assured that there is no chance of a reversal of the BRAC Commissions decision to maintain both Vance and Altus Air Force bases.

Under the BRAC recommendations, Fort Sill in Lawton gained a total of 3,444 military jobs and 161 civilian jobs. They also gained an Air Defense Artillery Center and School and the Net Fires Center.

Tinker Air Force Base will gain 355 civilian jobs and Vance Air Force Base will gain a total of 99 jobs. Altus Air Force Base and the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant were essentially unchanged by the process.

Oklahoma will have a net gain of 3,919 jobs. It's the fifth highest job gain from BRAC in the nation.