March 25, 2013
NORFOLK, Virginia (AP)— Virginia is preparing for potential base realignments and closures by hiring a consultant to study the state's military assets.
The Alexandria-based Spectrum Group will develop a closure risk assessment for each military base in the state. The company will report its findings the state's Commission on Military Installations and Defense Activities.
The Spectrum Group is doing similar work for Alabama and Florida.
Veterans Affairs & Homeland Security Secretary Terrie Suit told The Virginian-Pilot (http://bit.ly/14p8pkG ) that the company's work for other states shouldn't be a conflict. The $300,000 contract contains a confidentiality agreement that prohibits Spectrum from sharing its findings with third parties.
"We're going to be very careful about the information sharing on this because we learned last time that the competitors are very aggressive," said Suit, referring to 2005, when the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission, or BRAC, proposed closing Oceana Naval Air Station and sending the Navy's fleet of F/A-18 Hornets to Florida. "We don't want to give away our strategies."
Retired Rear Adm. Craig Quigley, director of the Hampton Roads Military and Federal Facilities Alliance, said he is glad that Virginia is being more proactive than it was for the previous round of base realignments and closures.
Congress hasn't yet signaled support for another round of base realignments and closures. But Quigley said it's good to begin preparing for potential cuts.
"There are a variety of states that are doing what Virginia is now doing to prepare themselves for the potential for another round or two of BRAC," Quigley said. "We're seeing what other states are seeing and preparing accordingly."
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