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boomchic00's Avatar
Posts: 17,231
Join Date: June 4, 2003
August 25, 2005, 11:28 AM

BRAC Votes To Close Walter Reed Medical Center
Three Days Of Voting Began Wednesday

POSTED: 8:29 am EDT August 25, 2005
UPDATED: 11:44 am EDT August 25, 2005

WASHINGTON -- A federal commission voted Thursday to close the crown jewel of Army hospitals as it began its second day of decision-making on sweeping plans to restructure U.S. military bases.

Web Site: Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission
Fact Sheet: More On Base Closings
In Depth: Initial Recommendations By State
Article: Rumsfeld Announces Base Closures
Slideshow: Panel Decides Fate Of Military Bases
Video: Panel Votes On Military's Future

Located in the nation's capital, Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington has treated presidents and foreign leaders as well as veterans and soldiers, including those returning from the Iraq war.

The realignment is expected to affect 1,300 people.

Under the Pentagon plan, the hospital's staff and services would move from Walter Reed's historic main post to the National Naval Medical Center in nearby Bethesda, Md., to create an expanded facility, as well as a regional hospital at Fort Belvoir in Virginia.

The Pentagon calls this "jointness" -- the services combining their strengths rather than working separately. Walter Reed's care is considered first-rate but the facility is showing its age, the commission found.

"Kids coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan, all of them in harm's way, deserve to come back to 21st-century medical care," Commission Chairman Anthony Principi said Thursday, adding that the hospital is old. "It needs to be modernized."

One-time costs, including construction and renovations, would total $989 million. The Pentagon would save $301 million over 20 years, the commission said. The expanded facility would be renamed Walter Reed. The current hospital has about 185 beds, but the expanded facility would have 340.

The most vocal commissioner on the board was Lloyd Newton, who visited Walter Reed and sat in on community meetings discussing closures. While he spoke to show support and opposition for some other consolidations and closures the panel reviewed, he was quiet during disucssion on Walter Reed, News4 reported.

The nine-member panel was voting on a host of big-ticket items Thursday in its second day of votes. Later Thursday it was to begin debating the Air Force's plans, arguably the most contentious of the group, as it steamrolled through hundreds of Pentagon proposals at a brisk pace after four months of study and preparation.

A decision still is expected on a plan to shift 20,000 defense jobs from leased office space in Northern Virgina to areas farther from the Pentagon, News4 reported.

Principi said he expected to finish voting no later than Friday, a day earlier than planned. The commission must send its final report to President George W. Bush by Sept. 8. The president can either accept the list or send it back for revision.

The list then goes to Congress, which must either accept or reject the recommendations in full.

In the first round of voting the commission voted to close Fort Monmouth in New Jersey and move over 2,000 jobs there to Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland.

The commission also voted to close Fort Monroe in Hampton, Va.


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spud's Avatar
Posts: 16,846
Join Date: September 30, 2002
Location: Lake Ridge
August 25, 2005, 11:30 AM

The closed Fort Monmouth NJ, which affects my job since my organization is split between belvoir and NJ.
Next 2 years should be REAL FUN!
However I will appreciate the value of my house going up since Northern VA folks will have to now come to Belvoir and other bases since they are closing buildings in alex, arlington, and crystal city

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Posts: 16,806
Join Date: November 8, 2004
Location: Moet Chandon on a Schlitz budget
August 25, 2005, 11:39 AM

Dewitt is going to be the next Walter Reed, 40,000 new jobs opening there, houses literally flying up all over the base. Bye Bye Walter Reed.

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