posted on May, 4 2005 @ 09:27 AM
Well, of course military bases are good financially for the community, since they pump a lot of money into the local economy; for that reason, most
folks want to see base closures somehwere else.
We had two large Air Force bases in the Phoenix area: Williams AFB and Luke AFB. "Willie" was closed twelve years ago and has morphed into Williams
Gateway Airport, and has drawn almost as much money as the AFB did, with an Arizona State University and Boeing presence there, along with a host of
smaller contactors. In retrospect, closing Willie was not the catastrophe people in Mesa thought it would be.
Luke AFB, on the other side of town, is facing encroachment from West-side development, and is fighting to keep empty land around it. It brings in a
huge amount of income to the West Valley and is also the largest fighter training base in the US; my guess is that it's pretty safe from this round
of base closures.
But a more basic consideration about base closures is this: our military seems to be transitioning from large masses of people and infrastructure
overseas in places like Japan, the Philippines, and Germany towards smaller, quick-reaction forces based primarily here in the CONUS and mobile enough
to react to a 'hot spot' elsewhere within a few days.
I guess the reason for this is that we're not going to fight a massive Soviet armored strike through the Fulda Gap or PRC attacks via DPRK to either
ROK or Japan; why pre-position military assets where the Bad Guys aren't going to come?
If this trend continues (and it seems like that's the case) I'd think that we'd need to maintain our existing bases here in the US, not as defense
against a Soviet-style attack, but to maintain training for a more mobile and flexible 21st-Century force.