Saturday, August 27, 2005

BRAC Commission couldn't buy Air Force lack of dollar sense

Local News Headlines: "The Air Force believed that moving 29 B–1 bombers out of Ellsworth to one location in Texas would save the taxpayers $1.8 billion.

But the Base Realignment and Closure Commission believed they could do one better, save Ellsworth and stop the Air Force from spending $19 million in the process.

Today’s deliberation on Ellsworth’s future, and an annual economic impact of $280 million in western South Dakota, began dry enough with Air Force BRACC analyst, Lt. Col. Arthur Beauchamp, reading the Pentagon’s justification: “By consolidating the B–1 fleet in a single location, DOD expects to achieve operational and economic efficiencies. The justification also states that the B–1 activity is transferred to an installation with higher military value.”

That's what the Air Force believed anyway. But that's not what the commissioners were ready to swallow.

When stripping away the nonexistent troop cut savings, Air Force analysts said moving 29 bombers to Texas would actually cost the military $19 million, not save the reported $1.8 billion."


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