Potomac News Online | Fort Monroe targeted for closing

WASHINGTON – The Defense Department today proposed closing historic Fort Monroe in Hampton, affecting more than 3,300 civilian and military jobs. Fort Lee near Petersburg would stand to gain more than 7,000 positions.

Of 31 major military bases in Virginia, only Fort Monroe appeared on a list of Virginia facilities recommended for closure by the Pentagon. The list, obtained from a congressional source, goes to an independent base closure commission.

The Pentagon recommendations also include closure or realignment of leased space in Virginia that would affect almost 22,000 jobs. However, the abbreviated list did not specify where workers will be relocated. In Northern Virginia, there was speculation earlier in the week that new security regulations could affect thousands of employees in leased office space.

A number of Virginia facilities were proposed for changes that would result in their gaining workers or additional personnel to be trained. In addition to Fort Lee, they included Fort Belvoir, gaining more than 9,000 jobs, and the Norfolk Naval Base, more than 2,500. A realignment at Fort Eustis, the list said, would result in about 2,000 fewer positions.

Among other facilities recommended for changes that would result in a net loss of jobs were Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, more than 400 positions, and the Naval Surface Warfare Center at Dahlgren, more than 300. A loss of 126 positions was also on the list for the Virginia Air National Guard unit at Richmond International Airport.

(Check www.potomacnews.com throughout the day for live updates as further details become available on potential base closures).

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