Pentagon: "BRAC Necessary"

The Pentagon says it's not easy, but still very necessary to close and downsize hundreds of military bases.

Top Pentagon officials are defending a plan to realign and close some military installations at a rare weekend hearing.

"Our closure and realignment list isn't based on emotion, warfare, community interests, or conjecture. Rather, every closure, every consolidation, and every intact installation represents an important element in a future Navy and joint infrastructure that will serve this nation best," said Admiral Robert F. Willard, vice chief of naval operations.

The commission will vote next week whether to remove any bases from the closure list. Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld says his plan would save the government $49 billion over twenty years, and divert some of those savings to improving combat readiness.

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