Senate Democrats

Reid Praises Decision to Preserve Nevada Air National Guard Base

Reno Facility Spared Cutbacks in Second Nevada Victory

Washington, D.C. – Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), the Democratic Leader, applauded a decision today to protect operations at the Nevada Air National Guard base in Reno. A special commission today recommended against making any cuts at the base.

“This is such good news for Nevada,” said Reid. “Our exemplary military bases obviously impressed the commissioners. For the second time, they agreed to keep our facilities operating at full strength. We won’t face painful cuts at either the Reno Air National Guard base or at the Hawthorne Army Depot. This is a real testament to the quality of Nevada’s military installations and personnel.”

Earlier this year, the Department of Defense had recommended moving all C-130 aircraft from the Reno base to Little Rock, Arkansas. The Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission is an independent, bipartisan commission created to study the Department of Defense recommendations further. After months of consideration, they reversed the original finding today and recommended keeping the C-130’s in Reno.

“The C-130’s are vital for Nevada’s safety,” said Reid. “In addition to their military importance, we rely on them for Homeland Security operations. We need them for everything from fighting wildfires to preparing for potential natural disasters. I’m very pleased the commissioners understood their value to our state,”

The Pentagon recommended dozens of closures or cuts at bases around America, as part of a major realignment of the country’s military. Among the recommendations were the removal of the C-130’s from Reno and the closing the Hawthorne Army Depot. Earlier this week the commission recommended keeping Hawthorne open.

Reid had worked for months to make sure the commissioners understood the importance of the two Nevada military installations. He requested and helped arrange a hearing before the BRAC Comission in Clovis, New Mexico in June, and he asked Commissioner Philip Coyle to visit Nevada’s bases personally. In late July, just before then end of the BRAC Commission’s fact-finding period, he asked BRAC Chairman Anthony J. Principi to visit Nevada as well, which gave two of the commissioners a first-hand look at state’s facilities.

“I’m grateful to all the commissioners for their hard work and their impartial decisions,” said Reid. “I’m especially impressed by my friend Jim Bilbray, our former Congressman from Nevada. I appointed him to the commission, and he did an excellent job.”

The Commission will send its final recommendations to the President, who must approve the BRAC Commission’s report. The President will then send the report to Congress, which must also approve the report within 45 days.