Six bases in Maryland face cuts Cheney's plan would close one base, force reductions at five others.

April 12, 1991|By Stacey Evers | Stacey Evers,States News Service Evening Sun reporter John Fairhall contributed to this story.

Defense Secretary Richard Cheney is recommending closure of one Maryland naval installation and realignment of five bases in Maryland as part of a plan to cut or scale back bases nationwide.

The Associated Press reported today that Cheney plans to close 31 major domestic military bases and 12 minor installations as well as realign 28 others.

"By 1995, the number of people in the U.S. military will be about one-fourth smaller than it is today. Smaller forces need fewer bases. It's as simple as that," Cheney said in a statement obtained by the AP.

The estimated cost of closing the facilities is $5.7 billion from fiscal 1992 to fiscal 1997, while the savings will amount to about $6.5 billion. That means a net gain of $850 million, the Pentagon said.

Among the major Army facilities on the list to be closed are Fort McClellan in Anniston, Ala.; Fort Ord in Seaside, Calif.; Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis; Fort Devens in Ayer, Mass.; and Fort Dix in Wrightstown, N.J.

In Maryland, the Pentagon plans to close the Naval Electronic Systems Engineering Center in St. Inigoes, St. Mary's County, and realign the following: Fort Detrick at Frederick; Harry Diamond Laboratories in Adelphi; David Taylor Research Center Detachment in Annapolis; the Naval Ordnance Station in Indian Head, Charles County; and the Naval Surface Warfare Center Detachment in White Oak, Prince George's County.

In some realignment cases, the facility will lose existing jobs, but pick up personnel now at other military facilities.

The Naval Air Training Center in Patuxent is a clear exception: It will gain about 2,000 jobs, most of them civilian. Aberdeen Proving Ground in Harford County will gain about 100 jobs.

The St. Inigoes facility, which will be closed, will lose 37 military jobs and 1,018 civilian jobs. It will not receive new positions from other facilities.

Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest, R-1st, who repeatedly has touted the St. Inigoes lab as "the most efficient in the country," has said he hopes that if NESEA must be closed, the Navy will shut it gradually to ease the economic problems that are sure to result.

Harry Diamond Laboratories in Adelphi will lose 21 military jobs and 562 civilian jobs, but pick up 14 military and 452 civilian positions from other, unidentified sources.

David Taylor Research Center in Annapolis will lose five military and 548 civilian jobs without gaining any; David Taylor's facility in Carderock, Montgomery County, won't lose any positions and will pick up 363 civilian jobs.

The announcement realizes Rep. Tom McMillen's worst fears. McMillen, D-4th, whose district includes David Taylor's Annapolis facility, has been working against the inclusion of military laboratories on the base closure and realignment list.

Fort Detrick will lose nine military and 30 civilian jobs and not gain any.

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