Friday, August 26, 2005

Congressman Ford Comments On BRAC Court Ruling

The Base Realignment and Closure Commission voted unanimously to move Nashville's planes to bases in Illinois and Kentucky, and to move its medical squadron to Texas.

The panel's decision came down just after 8:00 p.m. Friday, but could be voided by a lawsuit filed by Governor Bredesen. His suit argues that the Pentagon should not have the right to close a unit that is essential to Tennessee's disaster-response system. (The 118th Airlift Wing)

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell had said he commands the unit's activities 90 percent of the time, as it responds to floods, errant planes and other emergencies. U.S. District Judge John R. Padova sided with Rendell and said the Pentagon's recommendation is "null and void."

This evening Congressman Harold Ford Jr. said the following concerning BRAC and today's court ruling:

"It's a win for us. The rationale for the ruling would hold true here in Tennessee as well. The question was simple: Does BRAC or the federal law allowing BRAC to make these recommendations, does it supercede a governor's authority? This federal court in Pennsylvania has said no."

"A member of Congress can offer a resolution of dissapproval to BRAC's recommendations, and you can be assured that I'll offer a resolution if the President doesn't see fit himself."

In Nashville, the 118th Airlift Wing has been recommended to lose its eight C-130 transport planes, representing an estimated 175 jobs. A military commission has not yet officially decided on the wing's future.

Excerpts taken from: News Channel 5 (1, 2)