Rounds pleased that BRAC will meet in Rapid

Rounds pleased that BRAC will meet in Rapid Gov. Mike Rounds issued the following statement on the announcement that the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission will hold a Regional Hearing in Rapid City on June 21.

"I am very pleased that BRAC Commission Chairman Tony Principi has agreed to hold a regional hearing in Rapid City on June 21. This will give us the opportunity to present our assessment of the military value of EAFB. While we appreciate the effort that the Department of Defense went through, our early analysis of Ellsworth's rankings does not correlate with the Secretary's recommendation.

This will be a great opportunity for us to showcase the base, but more importantly, give the commission the chance to see just what this base means to the citizens of South Dakota. We will utilize all resources available to show the commission that Ellsworth isn't just about "numbers."

It is a base with unrestricted airspace, close proximity to an established military operations area, and modern infrastructure; not only for its current mission but certainly capable of expanding to meet future needs in the decades to come.

The B-1 Bomber is recognized as the premier weapon system in the U.S. Air Force. This hearing will give us the opportunity to reinforce the common sense approach used by military planners since Pearl Harbor, not to put all of our strategic weapons in one location. We will also emphasize the impact of losing the second largest employer in South Dakota."

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