Military Bases Recommended for Closure

By: Monica Bucannan
By: Monica Bucannan

The Pentagon releases the list of military bases recommended for closure. In Valdosta they've been holding their breath waiting to hear about the impact on Moody Air Force Base.

Moody Air Force escaped the BRAC list for closure and actually came out on top with 575 new positions added to the base, and it looks like some mission changes could be on the way.

Its missions are a part of the nation's defense team, but perhaps more important its members a part of the Lowndes County family.

Valdosta resident Cameron Clark says, "Moody Air Force base brings a lot of money into the city of Valdosta, but just as important that there are a lot of great people out at Moody."

People who will continue living and serving in this south Georgia community now that Moody was not recommended for closure by the Department of Defense.

"This kind of thing makes the people go alright we're looking good, we're feeling good; just smiles all around this town," said Moody enthusiast Tim Carroll.

The DOD wants to bring the A10 aircrafts to the base and move Moody's training missions elsewhere.

COL Joe Callahan says, "I was surprised to see the A10s are coming here. I'm glad they're coming here, but I was surprised to see those we're the changes that came into play."

But the new aircrafts won't be the only change at Moody. The base is slated to gain nearly 600 positions.

City of Valdosta Mayor John Fretti is happy with the news.

"To have an increase of 575 people, obviously that increases our diversity. They will work and shop and play in our towns so that means more for the economy. Everyone at Moody becomes a vital part of our community."

It could still be several years before these recommended changes are made. However, during the next few months, local leaders say they will start preparing for the recommended growth.

The Pentagon's recommending closing four Georgia bases three of them are in metro Atlanta: Fort McPherson, Fort Gillem in Forest Park, the Naval Air Station in Atlanta, and the Navy Supply Corps School in Athens.

Despite those recommendations, nationally Georgia is the second largest gainer in both jobs and revenue.

Here's the big picture nationwide: the Pentagon is recommending closing 180 military installations. In dozens of communities across the nation, mayors and congressman are vowing to fight to save their military base.

The proposal would claim 29,000 military and civilian jobs nationwide, but the Pentagon says the closings will save nearly $50 billion over 20 years and help modernize the military.


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