LIMA — The people advocating for the Abrams tank program were breathing sighs of relief Thursday, learning the Pentagon won’t request a BRAC process until 2015.
The last Base Realignment and Closure process happened in 2005, and Task Force LIMA successfully fought to keep Joint Systems Manufacturing Center open and off the list.
There had been chatter in defense circles that President Barack Obama’s administration would request a BRAC sooner. While the administration can ask for a BRAC, Congress must approve it.
“It’s good news. This postpones what we thought was going to be an imminent threat. It gives us more time to prepare,” Task Force chair Mayor David Berger said.
New Defense Department Secretary Chuck Hagel said Wednesday the Pentagon would request a BRAC in 2015, the American Forces Press Service reported. Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey held a joint news conference Wednesday to discuss Obama’s fiscal year 2014 budget request.
At its monthly meeting Thursday, Task Force also discussed previously reported work on tanks for Saudi Arabia. The contract is an important one for the JSMC and General Dynamics, which operates the federally-owned facility.
The task force has invited UAW President Bob King to tour the facility. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, has invited Hagel.
The group also prepared for a lobbying trip May 9 to see members of the Ohio congressional delegation and officials with the Pentagon in Washington D.C.
The facility is preparing for a commander change this summer. The facility receives a new Army commander every three years.