Doyle Lobbies to Keep Wisconsin Bases off Brac List

By: Zac Schultz
By: Zac Schultz

Governor Doyle was in Washington D.C. Thursday, trying to convince pentagon officials that Wisconsin's four military bases are vital to the future of the military.

Truax Field in Madison is one of Wisconsin's 4 military installations. That means it's also one of four bases that could be affected by the Base Realignment and Closure process.

Lt. Col. Tim Donovan says they're hoping Truax stays off the Brac list. "This is one of the top bases in America–certainly one of the finest in the National Guard."

Governor Jim Doyle met with Undersecretary of Defense Phillip Grone at the Pentagon this morning. Doyle spent most of the 45 minutes explaining why each of Wisconsin's bases is vital to our national security.

He spoke with reporters on a conference call. "Truax field's based 115th Fighter Wing of our Wisconsin Air Guard is located closer to Chicago than any other fighter base in the Midwest. It is only seven minutes flight time from Chicago," says Doyle.

The Brac list is being formed with an eye on the future of the military. The 115th Fighter Wing recently returned home from support duty in Iraq, and they continue to play a part in the war on terror. "Since the very morning of 9/11 we've had an ongoing important mission from right behind me at Truax–an air sovereignty alert mission that continues to this day," says Col. Donovan.

Similar Air National Guard units are based in Duluth, Springfield, Ill, Ohio and St. Louis. But both Gov. Doyle and Col. Donovan say Truax is the best.

"There really isn't anyone that does compete very well if at all with what Truax brings here," says Doyle.

"We're also quite confident that any impartial look at the operation behind me at Truax will reveal an outstanding unit," says Col. Donovan.

The Brac list comes out May 16.

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