Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley visited the U.S. Army War College today for a first-hand look at the economic impact of the college and Carlisle Barracks in Cumberland County.
Cawley is chairman of the Pennsylvania Military Community Protection Commission, which Gov. Tom Corbett established in 2012 to organize support for the state's military facilities and monitor federal activity that might impact them.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel proposed another round of the Base Realignment and Closure program, BRAC, for 2015. However, Congress has been reluctant to authorize it. The last round of BRAC occurred in 2005.
In 2005, the Carlisle Barracks and Army War College were on the BRAC closure list for a time.
In February, the PMCPC reached out to area officials to establish a Cumberland and York Area Local Defense Group, which will "coordinate, develop and implement recommendations to enhance the military value of the installations in the area."
Cawley was hosted by War College Commandant Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo at Carlisle Barracks for a fact-finding tour of the academic buildings, the war-gaming facility, family housing, and the service agencies that support military retirees and Reserve soldiers throughout Pennsylvania.
The tour and briefings addressed the global impact of the War College mission and the regional economic impact of its 1,700 jobs, Cawley said in a news release. With more than 1,000 students attending courses annually, the War College educates and develops leaders for service at the strategic level.
"Military operations like the Army War College are economic engines providing jobs and prosperity for communities across Pennsylvania. They are worth fighting for, and Gov. Corbett and I believe the men and women who work here are worth fighting for," Cawley said.
"This is not just about jobs. Pennsylvania military bases continue to play a key role in the logistics network that supports our military and ultimately our national security," he added.