President Nominates 2005 Base Closure Commissioners
By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, March 16, 2005 President Bush nominated eight people March 15 to serve on 2005's Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission.
Their names go to Capitol Hill for Senate confirmation.
The nominees are:
- Former Nevada Rep. James H. Bilbray, who was a member of committees on foreign affairs, armed services and intelligence. He served in the Army Reserve from 1955 to 1963.
- Philip Coyle of California, a senior adviser to the Center for Defense Information. He has served at DoD as an assistant secretary of defense and as director of operational test and evaluation.
- Retired Navy Adm. Harold W. Gehman Jr. of Virginia. He served more than 35 years on active duty, and his last assignment was as NATO's supreme allied commander, Atlantic, and as commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command.
- Former Utah Rep. James V. Hansen, who served on the House Armed Services Committee. He served in the Navy from 1951 to 1955.
- Retired Army Gen. James T. Hill of Florida. He served 36 years, and his last assignment was as commander of U.S. Southern Command.
- Retired Army Lt. Gen. Claude M. Kicklighter, assistant secretary for policy and planning at the Veterans Affairs Department. He served in the Army for nearly 36 years.
- Samuel Knox Skinner of Illinois, who served as President George H.W. Bush's chief of staff and as secretary of transportation. He served in the Army Reserve from 1960 to 1968.
- Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Sue Ellen Turner of Texas, a member of the American Battle Monuments Commission. She served for 30 years, most recently as the director of nursing services in the Office of the Air Force Surgeon General.
Earlier this month, Bush nominated former Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi as commission chairman.
Base realignment and closure is the process DoD uses to reorganize its installation infrastructure. This reorganization allows more efficient and effective support of forces as well as a way to increase readiness, officials said.
Defense officials said DoD's process will not vary much from the past BRAC rounds. But this year's BRAC process includes a statutory requirement that the military value of an installation be a primary element of the criteria used in deciding whether an installation needs to be closed or realigned.
Military value includes criteria such as bases' mission capabilities now and in the future, and space available for force maneuver. The review will also consider the bases' ability to accommodate contingency and future force requirements and will look at the bases' operations costs and manpower implications.
The secretary of defense must submit a list of installations recommended for closure or realignment to Congress and the BRAC commission by May 16. By Sept. 8, the commission must send its recommended BRAC list to the president, who has till Sept. 23 to approve or disapprove the findings.