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DEFENSE COMMUNITIES 360

BRAC May Be on a Longer Horizon, but There’s Work to Do in Oklahoma

  • March 25, 2012
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The frosty reception the Pentagon’s request for a BRAC round — at least in 2013 — received from both the House and Senate Armed Services committees during Capitol Hill hearings over the past several weeks is a pretty good indication that DOD will need to wait until at least 2015 for an opportunity to carry out wholesale changes in its inventory of installations.

And while many defense communities, understandably, are celebrating the apparent reprieve, for some, it’s just business as usual.

“We can’t worry about when that [another BRAC round] is,” Mike Cooper, chairman of the Vance Development Authority, told the Enid News and Eagle. “That is something Congress will decide. All we can do is work to protect and enhance our facilities, and to reduce costs if we can improve efficiency,” he said.

As a prime example of what he is trying to accomplish as the chair of the local support organization for Vance Air Force Base in Enid, Okla., Cooper pointed to last week’s opening of a joint use aircraft hangar at Enid Woodring Regional Airport. Vance, located 10 miles away, routinely uses the local airport for training, as well as aircraft diversions. Because Air Force aircraft routinely stay overnight there, the hangar would protect them as well as civilian aircraft from severe weather.

“This is great for the city and great for Vance,” said Cooper, who was scheduled to speak at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “If we save one plane, it will pay for it. That was the result of a great community and state partnership,” he told the paper.

The hangar, built at a cost of $561,000, was paid for by the state and Enid.

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