Fort McCoy Hoping to Stay off the Brac List

By: Zac Schultz
By: Zac Schultz

In just a couple weeks, the Pentagon is expected to release its recommendations of which military bases to close.

The Governor has been lobbying hard to keep all four of Wisconsin's military bases off the list.

Fort McCoy near Tomah has a long history as a Wisconsin military base.
But it will have to prove it's worth yet again if it wants to remain off the Base Realignment and Closure–or Brac–list.

The Pentagon and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld are creating the list, and rumor has it, up to 20% of all bases could be closed.

Linda Fournier is a spokesperson for Fort McCoy. She says the big question is whether the base can do the job in a new era of warfare. "What's going to be fix, the best mix of training installations and what should be kept open?"

Fort McCoy couldn't be more valuable right now. They exclusively cater to training the reserves and the National Guard. "We're 60,000 acres that serve as a training site for military personnel from all branches,' says Fournier.

127,000 troops trained at Fort McCoy last year. "50% of our force right now is the reserve and guard. So they need places where they can have that exclusivity to train on," says Fournier.

Fort McCoy is also important to the Midwest, because it's close enough that many families can visit. "Where would those guard and reserve soldiers train? Would they have to go on the road for 10–12 hours to get someplace to do their training?"

The Brac list will be released May16th. After that a Presidential commission, the President and congress will have to approve the list before any bases are closed.

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