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Base Realignment and Closures Still a Possiblility

5:15 PM, Apr 9, 2013   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Two military groups in South Carolina have been ordered to stand down, an action that comes as a result of federal sequestration cuts.

The 77th Fighter Squadron at Shaw Air Force Base, and active personnel at the 169th Fighter Wing at the McEntire National Guard Base are among impacted military units across the nation.

These stand downs also bring to mind the possible losses that could come from other federal cuts to the Department of Defense.

People working to keep tabs on a possible a Base Realignment and Closure, or BRAC, say it is expected for President Obama will ask Congress to begin that process. 

Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce President Ike McLeese says the Department of Defense is already preparing to furlough civilians employees.

With these big changes coming to U.S. Air Force groups at the end of the fiscal year he is hoping that congress will approve a base realignment.

He says that will give military installations in our state a better chance at making a case for keeping their base intact, if not securing additional parts as well.

"The BRAC process, it identifies the members of the commission. They tend to be professionals with experience in defense matters and there are rules and regulations so you know who you're dealing with, you know that your community will get a fair hearing, and you understand the process," said McLeese.

A state panel has already begun meeting to discuss and implement ways to keep bases in South Carolina in the state.

"Each community in my judgement should be at the business of advocating for their installation could there could be, possibly some conflicts between the installations in the state when we get into the short rows as they say," said McLeese.

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