Legislation advancing in Congress would prevent the Defense Department from considering closing military bases in the next few years.
Yearly defense authorization bills in the House and Senate also would keep the Starbase education program under the Pentagon’s jurisdiction.
Each measure would seem to bolster Fort Wayne’s Air National Guard base, which supports a squadron of combat jets and operates a Starbase academy for fifth-graders, and the city’s Army National Guard installation.
The bills reject a Pentagon request for $2.4 billion in fiscal 2014 so it can begin another phase of its Base Realignment and Closure process the following year.
“Many of us have been assuming there is another round of BRAC coming at some point in time. This will delay the next round,” Rob Young, president of the Fort Wayne Base Community Council, said Monday about the legislation.
“I don’t think that any of us should think that there will be no more BRAC,” Young said of the process that began in 1988 and has included five realignments. “So as a result, we need to stay vigilant and do everything we can as a community to promote and enhance the Air Guard base and the Army Guard base, all the military presence we have here,” Young said.
For more on this story, see Tuesday’s print edition of The Journal Gazette or go to www.journalgazette.net after 3 a.m. Tuesday.