PoliticalNews.me - Apr 08,2012 - Tester calls for update on overseas bases review
Senator’s bipartisan law requires Defense Dept. to examine base closures
(BIG SANDY, Mont.) – Senator Jon Tester is calling on the Defense Department to update him on the implementation of his bipartisan law requiring the department to examine the nation’s overseas military bases.
Tester worked with Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) to pass legislation to save taxpayers money and strengthen military readiness by reassessing America’s overseas military installations. The Tester-Hutchison law calls for the Defense Department to appoint an independent commission to review the military’s overseas basing needs and their associated costs as a first step toward closing facilities that are no longer needed.
Tester says the department needs to follow his law and inform Congress of its progress.
“We request an update on the status of this assessment and strongly urge you to expedite the completion of this report,” Tester and Hutchison wrote Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. “The assessment would provide a much-needed look at the current state of our overseas military facilities and determine the feasibility of closing or realigning those facilities.”
Tester first asked the Defense Department last May to consider closing a number of Cold War-era military bases and installations on foreign soil – saving taxpayers billions of dollars. In his letter to then-Defense Secretary Gates, Tester noted that the United States still operates 268 military installations in Germany and 124 in Japan.
“Instead of calling for another costly round of domestic base closures, we believe the Department of Defense should take necessary steps to capture the significant savings that can be achieved by dramatically reducing our overseas military presence,” Tester wrote.
Tester and Hutchison teamed up to find savings in military spending in October. The pair noted that closing unnecessary overseas bases will allow the U.S. to strengthen its military by focusing on current national security objectives. Additionally, they believe that decisions about overseas bases haven’t kept pace with the military’s advanced capabilities.