The Navy and the Department of Defense said it would save taxpayers $1.6 billion to shut the Groton Sub Base and move most of its operations to Georgia. The base was outdated and not needed by the modern military. Today, the Base Realignment and Closure commission indicated what it thought of that argument:
"It would be a tragic mistake, a tragic loss to this nation," Commission Chairman Anthony J. Principi said before the vote.
Retired General Lloyd Newton initiated the move to strike Groton from the list of 62 major bases tapped for closure or realignment by the defense department.
Newton, a Pratt & Whitney executive who lives in West Hartford, told his colleague today that "it would be a big mistake to close this facility at this time." (Lightman)
The only remaining hurdle to clear is President Bush, who could approve BRAC's entire list or require them to make changes. This would happen next month. It's seen as unlikely that Bush will intervene, although one never knows.
Today, Team Connecticut and all those who worked hard to save the base should feel proud that they have accomplished what everyone (myself included) thought was impossible. This is a huge boost for Connecticut, and today we can all exhale, just a little bit.
Lightman, David. "Commission Votes To Save Sub Base." Hartford Courant 24 August, 2005.