BRAC recommendations take effect

CNJ staff

The Base Closure and Realignment Commission’s recommendations for reshaping the Defense Department’s infrastructure and force structure officially took effect Wednesday as expected, Air Force Press Service reported.

The nine-member BRAC panel delivered its final report to President Bush on Sept. 8, and he, in turn, sent it to Congress for legislative review Sept. 15. Congress had 45 legislative days — until Wednesday — to accept or reject the report in its entirety. Since Congress did not reject the report, the Commission’s recommendations are approved.

By statute, the Defense Department now has until Sept. 15, 2007 — two years from the date President Bush sent Congress the BRAC Commission’s final report — to begin closing and realigning the installations as called for in the report. The process must be completed by Sept. 15, 2011, DoD officials have said.

Commissioners recommended Cannon Air Force Base be “enclaved,” which means it will remain open through 2009 in hopes DoD officials will find it a new mission. If no mission is found, the base will close.

Terry Moberly, a Cannon supporter, said groups are being formed to assist in Cannon finding a new mission. “We will be anxiously waiting to hear what comes of the meetings,” Moberly said.

“I know people are tired of having to wait and see … but they are just going to have to be patient.”