Defense Team Tours Kings Bay; Impressions from Tour Will Influence Decision on Base Closure

By Jackson, Gordon | The Florida Times Union, May 12, 2004 | Go to article overview

Defense Team Tours Kings Bay; Impressions from Tour Will Influence Decision on Base Closure


Jackson, Gordon, The Florida Times Union


Byline: Gordon Jackson, The Times-Union

KINGS BAY NAVAL SUBMARINE BASE -- Government officials who will play a role in evaluating the recommendation of a base relocation and closure committee next year toured the home of the Atlantic fleet of Trident submarines Tuesday.

Raymond DuBois, deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment, said the tour of Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base was not intended to help the Base Relocation and Closure committee decide whether the base remains open.

But information from the four-hour tour at Kings Bay will play a role in whether the Department of Defense accepts the recommendations of the committee on which bases are shut down, as well as where troops and equipment are moved as a result of base closures, Navy officials said.

DuBois said he wasn't allowed to discuss the base closure process or his impressions of the tour. DuBois said he was impressed, however, with the strong relationship between the base and surrounding community.

"I've come away with a strong sense of cooperation," he said.

After next year's recommendations are made, DuBois said the bases that remain open may see commands from different branches of the military serving together.

Base spokesman Ed Buczek said Kings Bay is already a multi-branch base with Marines and Coast Guard serving with the sailors there.

"I think it was a very successful visit on their part," Buczek said.

While some Camden County community leaders have said recently they aren't worried about Kings Bay being closed, they have discussed hiring a lobbyist group to help promote the base as a location with the room to absorb commands from other bases that are closed. …

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