Friday March 01, 2013 | 12:43 PM

WASHINGTON – Reports of additional possible military base closures are beginning to trickle out.

On Thursday, Politico reported that Department of Defense officials may soon seek two more rounds of base closures in order to deal with both a shrinking budget and a leaner military. 

“In a meeting this week of governors appointed to advise the government on defense issues, DoD officials said they planned to seek authorization for a round of the Base Realignment and Closure process first in 2015, followed by a second round in 2017, according to a former defense official,” Politico reported. The Pentagon declined to comment in the report.

Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta also said earlier in February that the department’s 2014 budget would include some base closure recommendations.

The Defense Department tried – and failed – to begin a new Base Realignment and Closure, or BRAC, process last year. Members of Congress, however, were apparently in no mood to begin the contentious discussion, which pits state against state as lawmakers seek to defend economically important bases in their districts.

Mainers living in the Brunswick and Kittery areas in 2005 likely remember the angst and uncertainty caused by the last BRAC. The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery was eventually removed from the closure list after fierce opposition from Maine and New Hampshire lawmakers. However, Brunswick is still working to re-develop the now-closed Brunswick Naval Air Station.

There’s always a concern that the Portsmouth shipyard – which employs about 4,700 civilians – could be recommended for closure again. As noted here last week, however, members of the region’s congressional delegation hold potentially influential positions.

New Hampshire Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte respectively serve as chairman and ranking member of the Senate Armed Services subcommittee that oversees the BRAC process and reviews any initial proposals. In Maine, Sen. Susan Collins serves on the Defense Subcommittee of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee while Sen. Angus King serves on the Armed Services subcommittee that oversees seapower.

Nonetheless, having people in power seats does not guarantee success, so any list of bases recommended for closure will be hot reading in Maine and New Hampshire.

About this Blog

Subscribe to the
Maine on the Hill RSS

About the Author

Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
Kevin can be reached at 317-6256 or

Subscribe to the
Maine on the Hill RSS

Previous entries

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013


September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

February 2011

Further Discussion

Here at we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)
Prefer to respond privately? Email us here.