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Orange County Business Journal May 12, 2005

Military Base Cuts Expected Friday

Seal Beach, Los Alamitos Officials Await Decision

By Mathew Padilla

Officials at Orange County’s two active military bases may not sleep well tonight.

The Pentagon is expected to release on Friday its nationwide list of bases it wants to close.

Outside the Department of Defense, no one seems to know if the Naval Weapons Station in Seal Beach or the Joint Forces Training Base at Los Alamitos will be on the list.

Anything’s possible. The county lost two bases in the last round of closures: the former El Toro Marine base and the former helicopter base in Tustin. A decade ago, few around those bases thought they’d be shuttered.

To some, the Seal Beach base is more vulnerable, since little activity is noticeable there to the casual observer.

But appearances can be deceiving. Gregg Smith, a spokesman for the Seal Beach base, said it services between 70 to 80 Navy warships each year.

It's the only spot in California where ships load weapons, and the only place that regularly services ships stationed in San Diego, he said.

“You don't want to put your weapons storage right next to where you base your ships,” Smith said in a past interview.

The Los Alamitos base has more than 160 buildings and 1.5 million square feet of space, according to GlobalSecurity.org. The base is home to units of the Army Reserve and the California National Guard.

 


Copyright 2005, Orange County Business Journal Associates