BRAC Votes to Realign 186 ARW

By: Tom Daniels
By: Tom Daniels

The 8-0 vote Friday by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission endorses recommendations by the Pentagon to realign the 186th Air Refueling Wing of the Mississippi National Guard.

It means the base would lose all of its KC-135 tankers and 175 full-time jobs, as well as hundreds more part-time guard positions.

Meridian Military Team member Lamar McDonald said Friday night the team is still hopeful of getting a new mission for Key Field.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell said he is delighted with a federal judge's decision preserving a Pennsylvania Air National Guard division. Rendell said he's "exceptionally gratified" and "elated."

The judge ruled the Pentagon does not have the authority to dissolve the division at Willow Grove without the governor's approval.

Pennsylvania's lawsuit did not challenge the Pentagon's authority to close Willow Grove. The challenge was whether the federal government could deactivate the 111th Fighter Wing based there.

The Justice Department and Pentagon have declined comment on the ruling.

The decision came as a base closing commission completes work in deciding the fate of military bases around the nation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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