Senators Mikulski & Sarbanes Urge President Bush to Approve Brac Commission Recommendations

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Paul S. Sarbanes (both D-MD) urged President Bush to approve the recommendations submitted to him today by the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission. Both Senators spent several years preparing Maryland's military bases and installations for the BRAC process, and were generally pleased with the final decisions.

"The BRAC announcements have been great news for Maryland and the nation. The recommendations are a testament to the strength of Maryland's military bases, our military and the communities that support them," said Senator Mikulski. "The BRAC Commission has acknowledged what Maryland already knows - that Maryland is a one-stop shop for military technology, research and development, helping our war fighters be safer, smarter and more effective.

"Using my influence in the Senate, I have worked to strengthen these bases - upgrading facilities and improving technology, transforming them to take on the new missions to meet the new threats we face," continued Senator Mikulski. "We in the Maryland delegation worked hard with state and local officials to show the readiness of our bases and the value they have in protecting the nation."

"The BRAC Commission has confirmed our long held belief that Maryland's military installations are second to none and that the military facilities across our State should continue to play a seminal role in maintaining the highest level of readiness for our armed forces," said Senator Sarbanes. "Maryland has a unique combination of top-notch military facilities, a well-educated and highly skilled workforce, and a superior system of universities and colleges that will more than adequately support gains received through the BRAC process."

"Maryland's military bases and labs are also critical to the economic well-being of their surrounding communities and the economic engine of the state overall," added Senator Sarbanes.? "This influx of thousands of defense-related jobs will help fuel our State's economy for years to come, and further bolster the enormous strength of Maryland's flourishing high technology sector."

The 2005 BRAC Commission decisions will bring thousands of new jobs and families to Maryland - including more than 10,000 new employees moving to Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) in Harford County and Fort Meade in Baltimore.

President Bush now has until September 23, 2005, to forward the report to the Congress or return it to the Commission for further evaluation.

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