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McDonnell reports little progress overturning JFCOM closure

Rosalind Helderman

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) will get a chance to meet with Defense Secretary Robert Gates to discuss defense cuts that could have a dramatic impact on the state's economy, the governor said Tuesday.

But McDonnell said a Tuesday breakfast meeting at the Pentagon with other high-ranking defense officials produced little good news for Virginians hoping to forestall the cuts.

Speaking on WTOP's monthly Ask the Governor program, McDonnell said the Pentagon acted with a "gross lack of transparency" when Gates announced in early August that he was recommending closing the U.S. Joint Forces Command in Suffolk and trimming the defense contracting budget by 30 percent.

"I wouldn' t say there's any good news," McDonnell said. "They've already made the decision. My problem now is we've got to try to unwind it."

McDonnell complained that the Defense Department did not use its own quadriennial review or the well-established Base Realignment and Closure process in making recommendations for defense cuts. And he said he was perturbed that Gates did not personally meet with him during Tuesday morning's meeting.

"It wasn't the meeting that I asked for.

To not get the meeting we asked for, was a little disappointing.

Still, McDonnell said he was promised a meeting soon with Gates and said he would keep working to overturn the decision, which he called "devastating to the Virginia economy."

Meanwhile, the Senate's Armed Forces Committee is holding a hearing today on the proposed defense budget shifts.

By Rosalind Helderman  | September 28, 2010; 11:15 AM ET
Categories:  Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman  
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Next: Webb accuses Pentagon of 'stiff-arming' Virginia on JFCOM closure


I hate to say it but now you know what it feels like to get stonewalled.

We here in North Carolina have been fighting the Outlying Landing Field (OLF) issue with the Navy AND Virginia for almost 10 years. WE HAVE DATA AND MANY STUDIES FROM THE NAVY THAT STATES THE OLF IS NOT AN OPERATIONAL “NEED”. The OLF is only needed to mitigate noise for the citizens located in Hampton Roads VA.

We have DATA/STUDIES that show Hampton Roads and the Navy cooperated in not using NAS Oceana to the capacity it should be used. All in the name of “noise complaints”

We have written to the local government requesting we be removed off the Hampton Roads Joint Land Use Study because we DID NOT participate in THAT land use agreement.

Do you remember the article in the Tidewater News August 12, 2009 you said, “I certainly want to do everything I can to on the one hand protect the interests of the citizens, both their quality of life, and their property rights but secondly make sure that the Navy has a home so we don’t lose Oceana. You also said, “I’m hoping that there will be some accommodation and it may very well be that they find a good site in North Carolina and that will take care of everybody’s concerns.”

I am sick of the greedy Virginia politicians stamping their feet every time something doesn’t go their way.

The Armed Service Committee can’t even talk about NAS Oceana without a fight in chambers, yet your want Virginia Beach officials are considering purchasing the Chesapeake Light Tower, about 15 miles off the coast, to move our national security radar which is currently based at NAS Oceana. For what, more development?

The Rollback of development around NAS Oceana, what a joke, only three developers are in on this redevelopment game.

I am sick of the greedy Virginia politicians stating every ship built in Virginia is “YOUR” ship – You should be thankful you have the jobs to build it. It is the TAX PAYER from all over the county who pay for these ships to be built- They belong to the USA not to VIRGINIA!!! I hope Mayport gets THEIR ship ASAP.


Posted by: thebra | September 28, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

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