Thursday, August 25, 2005

Commission Spares Navy Base In Norco

The commission determining military base closures nationwide voted today to spare the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Norco, just east of Los Angeles. The unanimous vote by the nine-member commission overturned Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's recommendation to shut the Riverside County base and move its mission and most of its jobs to Point Mugu's Naval Base Ventura County. Rumsfeld's recommendation would have cost 892 jobs in Riverside County and was opposed by local officials. The base is Norco's third-largest employer. In opposing the defense secretary's plan, members of the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission praised the Norco facility, which is the Navy's only independent assessment center, where contractors analyze weapons and aircraft. Commissioner James Bilbray said the base costs the government very little to run. He said he visited the installation and was "surprised at how efficient this unit really was."

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