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WASHINGTON, DC-The nine BRAC commissioners today voted 7 to 1 to keep the Naval Submarine Base in Groton, CT open. Also off the chopping block is the Portsmouth (NH) Naval Yard. New Jersey’s Fort Monmouth, however, will be closed. Over the next few days, the commissioners will meet and vote on the Department of Defense’s May 13 base closure list recommendations to close or realign military installations across the US. Also to be voted on and decided are the eight added recommendations.

Regarding the Groton base, commission chairman Anthony J. Principi said, “It would be a tragic mistake, a tragic loss to this nation.” The closure would have saved an estimated $1.6 billion. Portsmouth Naval Shipyard encompasses more than 297 acres including the main base and a family housing site off base in Kittery, ME. There are 179 buildings with more than three million sf of space including 49 ship repair/overhaul buildings.

Fort Monmouth is the largest of the military bases affected in New Jersey. The closing will take 620 military jobs and 4,652 civilian jobs out of the area.

These votes will determine the commission’s recommendations to President George W. Bush, submitted by Sept. 8. No vote is considered final until the conclusion of the final deliberations session on Saturday. The closures are expected to save the DoD as much as $50 million over the next 20 years.

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