RH3 Media Hearing Book - June 20, 2005 St Louis, MO Page: 80 of 81
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Richard B. Myers, a four-star Air Force general and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the
service has small numbers of aircraft at many locations, so planners sought to change unit sizes
by making aircraft more accessible for missions, such as those in Iraq.
Mentioning the C-130, which Mitchell stands to lose, Myers said the Pentagon wants to position
enough transport planes in one location so military planners "don't have to go to five or six units
to find enough aircraft."
He and other top officials testified before the independent nine-member commission that is
charged with reviewing the Pentagon's massive blueprint for realigning and closing military
The blueprint, released last week, affects Mitchell this way:
* The 440th Airlift Wing would send its eight C-130H Hercules aircraft to units in Georgia and
Arkansas. The wing would move to North Carolina's Pope Air Force Base, which the Army's Fort
Bragg would absorb.
* The Air National Guard's 128th Refueling Wing at Mitchell, which has nine KC-135R
Stratotankers, would gain three from a unit in Mississippi.
According to Myers, all the Guard and Reserve units losing aircraft would retain missions, some
involving unmanned aircraft and some involving combat support.
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who also testified, said the military has 318 major bases,
and that the Pentagon list calls for 33 to close and 29 to realign.
"Major" bases are those that would cost $100 million or more to rebuild.
Rumsfeld said the current round of realignments would mean $5.5 billion in recurring yearly
savings plus $48.5 billion over the next 20 years.
Still, there are costs inherent in the reorganization, including aid from the Pentagon and the
Commerce and Labor departments, which Rumsfeld said would be made available to affected
military personnel and communities.
Rumsfeld said the Pentagon's analysis leading to the reorganization was an exhaustive 2V2-year
undertaking involving 25 million pieces of data and 1,000 scenarios.
He made no changes to the blueprint, although he had the right to do so.
More light might be shed today on the fortunes of Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve
units when commissioners hear from Michael L. Dominguez, acting secretary of the Air Force,
and Gen. John P. Jumper, its chief of staff.
Meanwhile, a Pentagon official clarified how the changes at Mitchell would affect personnel.
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United States. Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission. RH3 Media Hearing Book - June 20, 2005 St Louis, MO, legal document, November 4, 2005; (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc24404/m1/80/: accessed May 27, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.