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Cotuit

New England Base Closings

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Portsmouth, Brunswick on list to be closed or scaled back

By Beverley Wang, Associated Press Writer  |  May 13, 2005

KITTERY, Maine --The Defense Department on Friday proposed closing the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard -- the nation's oldest -- and eliminating all aircraft and half of the military personnel at Brunswick Naval Air Station, the only active duty airfield in New England.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld proposed cuts from Kittery to Limestone, where more than 200 accounting jobs would be eliminated. All told, nearly 7,000 military and civilian personnel would lose their jobs, including about 2,000 New Hampshire residents.

New England was hard hit by the proposal. Connecticut bases would lose the most civilian and military jobs, 8,586. Maine ranked second for job losses from its bases.

"New England is suffering by far the most by this year's base closure round. And when you consider how few bases it had to begin with, then it's all the more striking," said Loren Thompson, a defense analyst at the Lexington Institute.

Brunswick would lose 2,300 military and 60 civilian jobs. The base has 4,800 military and civilian employees and Portsmouth has 4,300 civilian workers, mostly from Maine and New Hampshire. A smaller number commutes from Massachusetts.

Lawmakers and supporters of both bases vowed to fight the Pentagon proposal, arguing that the data does not support closing or scaling back either of them. Together, the bases pump more than $300 million into the regional economy.

Supporters contend the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is the most efficient shipyard for overhauling and upgrading nuclear submarines.

"The closing of the shipyard at Kittery makes no sense simply because it's the best-performing nuclear submarine shipyard. Every time work is done there it saves tens of millions of dollars," said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.

Continue reading at: Boston.com

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Workers attended a May 16 rally at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, which has been included on a list of military bases the Pentagon may close. (Reuters Photo)

Thousands protest proposed closing of shipyard

By Tim McCahill, Associated Press Writer  |  June 1, 2005

KITTERY, Maine --Thousands of flag-waving Portsmouth Naval Shipyard supporters shouted "Take us off the list!" to members of a visiting commission that will review a Pentagon recommendation to close the nation's oldest federal shipyard.

The supporters, many of them wearing yellow "Save Our Shipyard" T-shirts, lined the street leading to the yard. Some also chanted, "We're No. 1" and one man sang "God Bless America" over a loudspeaker.

"I'm committed to this. I'm committed to all the values the shipyard represents," said Gary Dozier, 58, of Hampton Falls, N.H. His father worked on the USS Drum, a submarine that was commissioned at the shipyard.

"They've got to wake up and smell the coffee," Dozier said of Pentagon officials.

Wayne Blue, 46, a ship fitter from Waterboro, said the turnout was good, "But I don't think it will do anything."

Blue said the commission and the Navy are not worried about the economy. "I think the Navy's making a mistake," he said.

The independent Base Realignment and Closure Commission must review the list of closings and realignments recommended by the Pentagon and submit a final list to President Bush by Sept. 8. Bush and Congress can then accept or reject the list in its entirety.

Continue reading at: Boston.com

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Know theres a lot of discussion on the Maine base closings but Connecticut is another state hit hard by the BRAC list of recommened base closings which includes the Groton Sub Base which was the navy's 1st sub base when it opened in 1858. At the base alone 8500 people stand to lose their jobs. There are also thousands of other people throughout the base who do not work at the base but get business from the base. Electric Boat is located near the base and although they say the base closings will not affect them the two of them go together.

There are thousands of business owners in Southeastern CT who rely on people from the sub base for business. This is one of the main job centers of the area. The casinos only employ minimum wage service type workers. The only other business asset in the area is Pfizer which has their global research facility in New London.

Redeveloping the base would be extremly difficult becasue there is no large metropolitan area that southeastern CT lives off of. The two larger towns/ cities are Norwich and New London but there population can hardly be considered city like. Hartford, New Haven, and Providence are all an hour away.

Currently CT stands to lose the most jobs with the latest list of base closings.

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Latest from the Hartford Courant on the Groton Sub Base

Doubts expressed about submarine base closure

http://www.courant.com/news/local/statewir...0,5211650.story

Submariners' Views? A Good Question

http://www.courant.com/news/local/hc-brac0722.artjul22,0,7909153.story

Base closing commissioner to visit submarine base

http://www.courant.com/news/local/statewire/hc-21192755.apds.m0415.bc-ct--basejul21,0,3938886.story

Hope Seen In BRAC Criticisms

http://www.courant.com/news/local/hc-brac0...0,7188255.story

A BRAC Voice Defends Northeast

http://www.courant.com/news/nationworld/hc-brac0720.artjul20,0,6790662.story

Base Closure List May Be Revised

http://www.courant.com/hc-doddbrac0719.artjul19,0,7080042.story

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BREAKING NEWS: The Base Closure and Realignment Commission has voted to keep open the submarine base in Groton, Conn. The commission is expected to vote shortly on the Brunswick Naval Air Station in Maine, and later today on the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine. --Developing

From Boston.com

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BREAKING NEWS: The Base Closure and Realignment Commission has voted to keep open the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine and close Brunswick Naval Air Station in Maine. --Developing

From Boston.com

AP Story

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This a real victory for state and local officals in CT, Maine, and NH.

In CT it was estimated that 30,000 jobs would be lost in a ripple effect of the base closing. The base is contaminated, and since there is no large metropolitan area to feed off of this area needs jobs. If there were a large citiy people could earn money in that city and go to live and shop at the base but this is not the case. It could also be a sticky situation attracting businesses to the site.

Just yesterday on the local CT news it was reported that a developer submitted plans for a 300million dollar resort with a golf course to go on the site...guess he needs a new site.

Great news for the whole northeast!

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It's good news for Rhode Island too, as I'm sure there are some people in South County who's livelyhoods depend on the base in Groton. Now's the time for New London to start diversifying it's economy though. Someday that base is going to close and the city needs to be ready to move it's economy in a new direction when that day comes. It's such a wonderful area, it shouldn't be too hard to attract businesses there.

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Yes way to go all the politicians who came forward in the past week to show there support for the base!

Cotuit: I read your comment and you are absolutly right in the fact that the base may not be there forever. Since the base has been spared this time the state of Connecticut and local goverment need to look at the site, find out about contamination, possible uses for the sites, master plans, contamination costs, and road planning information so that if the base closes someday the state is ready to bring in something to the site whether it be housing, retail, office space or whatever.

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The paper in Charlotte has a story indicating the Connecticut submarine base was saved due to the actions of former US President Jimmy Carter. Carter sent a letter urging the commission to keep the base open as its closing would result in a "loss of some of the proud submariners heritage of our historic association with service and training in New London" At least one of the base closing panel members has said that his letter was one of the reasons they voted to reverse the recommendation to close the New London base.

Carter was a former Navy nuclear engineer serving aboard a sub before becoming governer of GA, then later President of the USA. In my opinion he was the last decent president elected to office and the only one of the living Presidents to have my respect. Carter made this move knowing that it would put him in hotwater with his fellow Georgians considering that at least 3 bases are closing in that state.

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BREAKING NEWS: Gov. Mitt Romney's office said Otis Air National Guard base will not close and staffing will remain at current levels. --Developing

Boston.com

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