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DEFENSE COMMUNITIES 360

Colorado Falling Behind Other States’ BRAC Efforts, Leaders Say

  • January 27, 2013
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Local leaders in Colorado Springs, Colo., are urging city and state officials to develop a forward-looking approach to the next BRAC round, which many believe may be only a couple of years away.

“We need an aggressive statewide strategy to protect and enhance current missions,” Scott Bryan, a member of the Regional Coalition for Federal Strategic Action, told the Colorado Springs Business Journal. “It’s a chance to grow the capacity to expand the defense presence here — and we should commit resources to that.”

With Fort Carson and Schriever and Peterson Air Force bases, the Pikes Peak region has a lot of stake. The fear is that other states are taking a more proactive approach to preserving and expanding the presence of the military, leaving Colorado and the $7 billion annual economic impact the military generates there vulnerable in a future base closure round.

“We need to make sure we’re meeting the military’s needs here. … We need to be on the offense this time,” Bryan said.

Some strategies seem clear to base supporters in Colorado Springs, including addressing an encroachment issue at Peterson and improving traffic flow outside Fort Carson. But there’s more that needs to be done, principally greater involvement at the state level, according to the story. As Bryan said, the state can’t afford to wait.

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