Originally created 05/25/05

Officials to tour school

ATHENS, Ga. - Members of the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission will visit the Navy Supply Corps School today as part of a fact-finding mission to assess whether the Prince Avenue facility should close.

The school was named May 13 by the U.S. Department of Defense as one of more than 180 bases nationwide to close as part of this year's round of BRAC. The commission has the ability to change the Defense Department's recommendations.

"The site visits are the main forum by which our commissioners and our staff learn the details of what military activities are really happening at the base, how the Department of Defense recommendations would affect the installation and whether base closure criteria were applied correctly by the Pentagon while putting its list together," BRAC commission Chairman Anthony Principi said in a news release. "They are an invaluable resource to us."

An analyst will visit before commissioners and then tour the installation with the commissioners, according to the release. Members of the BRAC commission also will visit Naval Air Station-Atlanta in Marietta today.

Naval Air Station-Atlanta and the Navy Supply Corps School were two of the four Georgia bases listed in the Pentagon's plan to shut down installations to streamline the military. Fort McPherson in East Point and Fort Gillem in Forest Park were also on the list.

Most, but not all, of the bases on the Pentagon's hit list will be closed. Before making a recommendation to Congress by Sept. 8, commissioners will visit each base on the list.

Between Tuesday and Friday, commissioners plan on visiting 20 installations nationwide, according to the group's news release.

"We have a lot of hard work ahead of us and not a lot of time to do it," Mr. Principi said in the release. "Each site visit will be packed with detailed briefings, discussions with base personnel and tours of the key facilities at the installation."

On June 30, commissioners will hold a public hearing in Atlanta. Proponents of the Navy Supply Corps School will be able to address members of the commission.


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