Senate Democrats

Reid Announces Hearing to Defend Nevada Military Installations

Puts together witness coalition to defend Hawthorne Army Depot, Nevada Air National Guard

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Harry Reid announced today that he has put together a coalition of witnesses to testify on behalf of Nevada’s military installations that face closure or relocation.

The Department of Defense recently made recommendations for a major realignment of military bases and facilities around the country. For Nevada, the recommendation included an increased presence at Nellis Air Force Base and Fallon Naval Air Station, but closing the Hawthorne Army Depot and reducing Nevada’s Air National Guard.

As the senior Senator from Nevada, Reid has the ability to call for a special hearing to defend the state’s military facilities.

“I think it would be a mistake to close the Hawthorne Army Depot and cut our National Guard unit, as the Department of Defense has recommended,” Senator Reid said. “Fortunately, those are just recommendations and only the first step of a detailed process. As part of the next step in that process, I have the ability to make sure Nevada has a chance to defend our state-of-the-art facilities.”

As mandated by Congress, the bipartisan Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC) Commission will now provide an objective, non-partisan, and independent review and analysis of the list of military installation recommendations issued by the Department of Defense (DoD). The commission will hold a series of regional hearings to examine DOD’s recommendations. The senior Senator from each state decides who will testify at the hearings, which allow witnesses to to voice concerns and opinions and defend bases that face closure or major realignment.

Choosing from locations determined by the BRAC Commission, Reid announced that Nevada’s hearing will be on June 24th in Clovis, New Mexico.

Sen. Reid has put together a coalition of witnesses who will be strong advocates for both the Hawthorne Army Depot and the Air National Guard. The witnesses include:

Governor Kenny C. Guinn, Senator Randolph Townsend (R-Reno), Assemblyman Bernie Anderson (D-Sparks), Giles Vanderhoof, Director Nevada Homeland Security, Cindy Kirkland, Adjutant General, Nevada National Guard, Senator Mike McGinness (R-Fallon), Shelley Hartmann, Executive Director Mineral County

“I believe there are flaws in the analyses used to make those recommendations,” Sen. Reid added. “This hearing will be an opportunity to present our case regarding Hawthorne and the Nevada Air National Guard. I think that the evidence will show that Hawthorne is a state of the art facility. The military has spent millions and millions of dollars there to do things that can’t be done any place else in the country.”

Reid also noted that National Guard units represent a tremendous amount of the military power in places like Iraq now. “The Nevada Air National Guard plays a critical homeland security role, and, of course, the unit is indispensable here in Nevada to assist when national disasters occur.”