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01/13/04 18:10:37 Gov. Schwarzenegger Sends BRAC Letter to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld
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01/13/04 18:10:37 Gov. Schwarzenegger Sends BRAC Letter to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
GAAS:14:04
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
01/13/2004
Gov. Schwarzenegger Sends BRAC Letter to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today released the following letter sent to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld regarding the upcoming Base Realignment and Closure activity:
January 12, 2004
The Honorable Donald H. Rumsfeld
Secretary of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC  20301-1000
Dear Mr. Secretary,
As you undertake the upcoming base realignment and closure (BRAC) round, I am writing to respectfully request your consideration of the unparalleled opportunities which exist in California to achieve the Department's goal to produce an operational infrastructure which maximizes fighting capability as well as efficiency.
I share your high regard for our military forces.  I have personally visited troops in Iraq and elsewhere.  My commitment, as outlined in my first State of the State message, is to ensure that California's current military sites, and the resulting resident intellectual capital and logistic infrastructure around each base, remain and prosper in California.
California is a defense hub for the nation.  It has a proud history of support for our armed forces in every major conflict since World War II.  For many reasons California has attracted Department of Defense sites and defense industry partners because of its temperate climate, available space, existing range complexes, natural resources and innovative spirit attracting the best and brightest minds in the country.  This unique complex of synergies represents a dynamic core capacity and a platform of support that benefits not only California, but also the nation at large.
In the previous rounds, California bore a disproportionate share of base closures.  The California Congressional delegation is fully committed to reducing the impact of base closures in the state.
The sheer size of California's economy directly links its financial health to that of the nation.  The state's economy has been uniquely challenged in recent years.  I am confident that California's economic situation will improve significantly, but our efforts will be obstructed considerably by additional base closures, which result in job losses.
Given the historical significance and key mission capacity of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps bases in the state, I am hopeful that the composition of the BRAC Commission will reflect the role California has played, and continues to play, in national defense strategy and the resultant training and operational requirements.
California has the largest coastline, international ports, an international border, and extensive resources ready, willing, and able to handle virtually any mission the Nation may place here.  Our history of technological excellence and cutting edge leadership in electronic research will enable California to respond to future defense force restructuring in the Quadrennial Review.  California is well-suited for realignments of other activities, or new missions, to existing infrastructures with fully trained, professional, resident workforces.
California has already undertaken a number of efforts.  A new California law (Senate Bill 1468) mandates that local land use planners consider adjacent military installation mission requirements in the strategic land use and General Plans update process.  This gives local military commanders a "seat at the table" and ensures that local planners are aware of the need to collaborate so that these military missions are not adversely impacted by local land use decisions without consultations and consideration of that impact on existing military site.
In closing, I want to reiterate my personal support for the Department of Defense's current and long-term presence in California.  I support your efforts to transform the Department and believe California can continue to play an even greater role as you address force structures, equipment and training.
I look forward to meeting with you personally to discuss solutions which serve our mutual interests.
Sincerely,
Arnold Schwarzenegger

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