Gibbons Forms Commission to Protect Nevada Bases

Congressman Jim Gibbons, R-Nevada
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A Nevada congressman is forming a commission to protect the state's military installations during the next round of base closures, set for 2005.

Republican Rep. Jim Gibbons, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, said Tuesday that Nevada's Military Advocacy Commission would bring together military officials, veterans and local leaders to work on behalf of the state's three main bases - Naval Air Station Fallon, Hawthorne Army Depot and Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas.

Gibbons said in a statement that he did not see any Nevada installation in jeopardy.

But many states are moving to protect their bases since defense experts have said the Pentagon could close more than 100 of the 425 major military installations nationwide when decisions are made in late 2005.

Gibbons said he would meet with commanders from each installation for an accounting of the strengths of their bases.

"It only makes sense that we should unite to promote Nevada's military strength during the BRAC process," Gibbons said.

Nevada was largely spared during four earlier rounds of base closures from 1988 to 1995.