“First, we’d like to thank our Congressional delegation and the General Assembly for their continued support of our military installations over the past decade. Additionally, we want to thank the Kentucky Commission on Military Affairs and our local communities for their hard work in preparation for this round of Base Realignment and Closure actions.
As you know, this administration is the first to budget and fund a state effort to protect our military infrastructure. We understood that the federal military contribution to Kentucky’s economy exceeds $5 billion annually.
Therefore, we decided it was absolutely essential to take the steps necessary to protect our military infrastructure. The results seen today clearly indicate that the taxpayer’s dollar was well invested.
Today is an important day for our Nation and the Commonwealth -- it marks a major milestone in the effort to transform the Nation’s defense forces and our defense infrastructure to meet modern security challenges. The list of BRAC recommendations clearly indicates that Secretary Rumsfeld and the Defense Department consider Kentucky’s installations as important foundations for the future of our military.
At the initial glance there is a mixture of job gains and losses at Fort Knox. We are informed and pleased that there is the return of a war fighting brigade and a large increase in civilian personnel.
Their investment in Kentucky is well placed. The Fletcher administration will ensure that we do everything we can to provide a caring and supportive environment for our military. Kentucky is proud to continue its strong tradition of providing a home for our troops and their families who play a vital role in protecting our Nation’s liberty.
With regard to the BRAC recommendations, we are pleased that our installations will continue to be a strong component of our national defense strategy. Although we are satisfied with the overall list, it is clear the Secretary of Defense’s recommendation and vision for Fort Knox is much different than what we envisioned. We are carefully reviewing the recommendations and the supporting analysis in order to determine the impact of the BRAC recommendations on Fort Knox.
It is important to understand that the release of the BRAC recommendations is only the end of Phase I of a long process. We will be actively engaged in the BRAC process over the next four months in order to protect current missions and to pursue additional missions that may be compatible with Kentucky’s military installations. We will be working in close coordination with our local communities and Kentucky’s Congressional delegation throughout the BRAC process.”
-Governor Ernie Fletcher