Senate Democrats

Reid Gets Commitment from BRAC Commissioner to Visit Reno, Hawthorne

Visits will allow Commissioner to see first hand important missions of Nevada’s military installations

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Continuing his efforts to defend Nevada’s military installations, U.S. Senator Harry Reid secured a commitment for a site visit from one of the Commissioners who will make a final recommendation on the future of the Hawthorne Army Depot and the Nevada Air National Guard.

The Department of Defense recently recommended closing the Depot and reducing the Air National Guard.

As part of the final decision on whether or not to act on those recommendations, a bipartisan Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC) Commission is working on an objective and independent review of how the DOD reached its conclusions.

At Reid’s request, the BRAC Commission held a hearing on the Department of Defense decisions. And today, Reid announced that BRAC Commissioner Philip Coyle will personally visit both sites. The commissioner will tour the two facilities with the commanders of each installation, and his findings will be used in the final recommendation.

“This visit will allow the BRAC Commission to see first hand the flaws in DOD’s recommendations,” Reid said. “I have great respect for the Commission’s work and the Pentagon’s responsibility to ensure we have the finest military in the world. But I believe the recommendations in these cases are inconsistent with our national security objectives. In both cases, the initial analyses is incomplete, and in many cases, incorrect, and both recommendations warrant serious reconsideration.”

Coyle and one BRAC staffer will visit both sites on Monday, July 11th.

The BRAC Commission consists of nine Commissioners, including former Congressman Jim Bilbray from Nevada whom Reid appointed to serve on the board. The Commission will furnish the report of its findings and its own suggestions to the President and to the American public on September 8, 2005. The President will then forward the report to Congress or return it to the Commission for further evaluation. Congress has 45 days from the day it receives the report to comment on the Commissions findings and decide whether to accept the report.