Letter from South Dakota Governor M. Michael rounds to Chairman Anthony J. Principi dtd 29 July 2005 Page: 1 of 2
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STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA
M. MICHAEL ROUNDS, GOVERNOR BRACE Commission
July 29, 2005
2005 Defense Base Closure and Realigtielnt Commission
2521 South Clark Street, Suite 600
Arlington, VA 22202
Dear Chairman Principi:
Thank you for your continued service during this most important process. With this letter, I am
requesting that Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, be removed from the list of base closures.
As we have discussed before, there are many people in the Department of Defense that worked
diligently to put together a list of economic reasons to save the department money. However, good
people do make mistakes.
From a military value perspective, Ellsworth provides more current and future value to the Air
Force than competing large aircraft bases. Ellsworth maintains a base for high tempo B-1B
operations and nearly immediate access to an unrestricted Military Operations Area (MOA).
Finally, Ellsworth provides a strategic presence in the north central U.S. and can accommodate
emerging missions or, if need be, in case of emergency, all the B- IB aircraft fleet.
While we still believe there needs to be two bases to support the fleet of B 1-Bs, there are two issues
I ask you to consider. First, closing Ellsworth will not create the savings the Air Force estimated.
The consolidation of the entire B-1B fleet at Dyess AFB, Texas, and the closure of Ellsworth may
not realize the reported savings of $1.853 billion because it includes a significant percentage of
personnel savings which cannot be applied outside of personnel accounts.
Any costs associated with consolidated B-1B flying operations in the Dyess area will be increased
by $14,000 per mission due to an increase of 0.7 hrs of flight time when compared to similar
missions flown at Ellsworth (estimated 20-year cost could range as high as $280 million). Powder
River MOA missions flown from Dyess AFB will require an added 5 hours of flight time at a cost
of $100,000.00 per mission or $100 million per 1,000 missions flown-20-year cost for such
missions could range from $1 to 2 billion.
STATE CAPITOL * 500 EAST CAPITOL * PIERRE, SOUTH DAKOTA 57501-5070 * 605-773-3212
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Letter from South Dakota Governor M. Michael rounds to Chairman Anthony J. Principi dtd 29 July 2005, letter, August 4, 2005; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc19805/m1/1/: accessed August 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.