Senate Democrats

BRAC Chairman to visit Nevada

Second member of Commission to personally visit Nevada military sites

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Harry Reid announced today that, at his request, the Chairman of the BRAC Commission will visit the Hawthorne Army Depot and the Nevada Air National Guard. Anthony J. Principi, former Secretary of the Veterans Affairs, is now serving as Chairman of the commission that will make a final recommendation on the future of the Nevada military installations. Principi and Reid have a personal history of working together on issues like the VA hospital set to open in Nevada.

“Chairman Principi has always been receptive to our concerns and the needs of Nevada,” Senator Reid said. “He provided a great service to the veterans of this country, and has applied that same dedication and strength in his important role as Chairman of the BRAC Commission. I believe we have some of the finest military installations in the country and that with this visit Chairman Prinicipi will come to the same conclusion.”

At Reid’s request and urging, Principi is the second member of the Commission to visit Nevada. He will visit both sites next week, on Tuesday, July 26th along with a member of Sen. Reid’s staff.

As part of a major realignment of the country’s military, the Pentagon recently recommended closing the Depot and reducing the Air National Guard.

Now, a bipartisan Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC) Commission is working on an objective and independent review of how the DOD reached its conclusions, and will make a decision on whether those recommendations were appropriate. The Commission will then forward its report to Congress and the President. That report will include personal observations from the Commissioners’ visits.

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.