The panel supported the Pentagons recommendations to close Fort McPherson and Fort Gillem in Atlanta, Naval Air Station-Atlanta in Marietta and the Naval Supply Corps School in Athens. The commissions vote Wednesday all but confirmed the bases impending closure, although Congress and President Bush will have the final say.
However, because of other realignments and some base expansions, the state is still expected to gain more jobs than what it will lose in the process. Under the Pentagons original realignment plan, Georgia had stood to gain more than 7,400 new jobs second only to Maryland but after Wednesdays votes, the state now looks to gain about 4,000.
Thats because the panel reversed the proposed closure of a Connecticut submarine base a blow to Georgias Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base, which had stood to inherit six relocated subs and 3,367 new jobs. If the Pentagons original plan had been approved, the submarine base near St. Marys would have grown per-capita more than any other base in the nation.
Among those backing the Groton, Conn., base was Georgias own former President Jimmy Carter, who warned of adverse economic impact should the Connecticut base close. One of the commissioners cited a letter from Carter as one of the reasons he voted against closure