Moody BRAC

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The process to close unneeded military bases has reached another level now that President Bush has selected his own commission to study the issue.

The military says it needs to close a number of bases to be more efficient and there is some concern that Georgia could lose its first base in more than a decade.

Moody Air Force Base in Lowndes County has avoided several rounds of base closures over the years, and with another round of closures on the horizon, work is underway to protect this base once again.

Local business owners who rely on Moody say they are pleased with the current effort to keep the base open.

Linda Panousis, the owner of Family Pizza, says, "Everyone here in the Valdosta area has just been the strongest supporters of a base that you can find. People that come here say there's not a community like this in the U.S. that stands behind their base."

Local community leaders say a great deal of public money has been spent to upgrade the infrastructure around Moody Air Force Base in an attempt to keep it open.

Paige Dukes, Lowndes County spokesperson, says, "With our water and sewer expansion, you're looking at millions of dollars just with those expansions, then there are other cost you have to take into consideration as well as far as the steps we take to prevent encroachment."

Leaders say it’s in the entire community's best interest to protect Moody.

"There's really not an aspect here economically that would not be touched."

That is why the community will continue to work hard for Moody.

Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld will release the first official base closure list in two months and the final list will be announced in November.