BRAC List Looms

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Look for the list of Base Realignments and Closures to be revealed this week rather than May 16, as originally announced. Reports from Washington indicate the actual release to members of Congress is likely to be Friday at 7:30 a.m. Meridian time, with the list to be put on the Internet at 9:30 a.m.

Commanders of bases affected will be told 12 to 24 hours in advance of the general public. Meanwhile, America's military waits and worries.

State Rep. Greg Snowden of Meridian attended a recent meeting of the Mississippi Military Communities in Jackson.

"Everybody's energized. Everybody's prepared. No one really knows what's going to happen," Snowden said. "There are various degrees of optimism and pessimism."

Mississippi's most likely base to make the list is believed to be Naval Station Pascagoula. This base was established 15 years ago when the fleet was going to 600 ships. Now the fleet is only half that size. As for others in the state, no one seems to know.

"The National Guard and their facilities are certainly on the table, as well as the regular Army, regular Navy facilities. The depots around the country are probably going to be heavily affected," Snowden said.

The regular Business Before Hours event in Meridian at Mississippi State University Tuesday at 7:30 a.m. will feature an update by Bill Crawford, as well as members of the statewide committee. Crawford heads the state's effort against base closure. Snowden says his meetings have convinced him of one thing.

"I do have the distinct impression it's going to be very difficult to get off the list, if you're on it," said Snowden.