It's not a lot of money in terms of the $9.3 billion for next year's military construction projects bill that the president just signed. Yet, the $4.3 million earmarked for Fort Gordon's new training center just might make an enormous difference in the campaign to keep the post open following the next round of base-closures in 2005.
It's also significant because that was the only construction request Fort Gordon submitted, and it might have been a bad harbinger had it been turned down. Instead, it's a bright spot.
First, as U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood, R-Ga., points out, "It's a very good day for the soldiers who will benefit from the new training support center."
Second, as Larry DeMeyers, CSRA Alliance chairman, says, "The training center will make the fort's mission more efficient." And although that's no guarantee that the base will survive closure, efficiency, cost effectiveness and uniqueness of mission are key factors in BRAC recommendations to preserve, or expand, an installation's mission. The fort has all three factors going for it.
The truth is, its chances of surviving closure have been improved as a consequence of the $4.3 million appropriation. Another way of putting it is that every little bit helps.