Reading Otis Out of NORTHCOM’s Plans

KeatingAccording to the head of US Northern Command, the Pentagon’s BRAC recommendations pose “no unacceptable risk” to the homeland defense mission. Chairman Principi reminded Adm. Timothy Keating that previous BRAC rounds had closed three USAF bases in the northeast, that the nearest remaining facility would be 150 miles away with only two alert aircraft, that ANG would lose aircraft in New York, and the Navy would lose aircraft in Maine. Principi asked, “Are you really comfortable with the recommendation on Otis” if there is a need for immediate response to an attack? Keating’s response: “I am comfortable.” After further discussion, commissioner James Bilbray concluded: “I’m not certain the people in the Northeast would agree on that.”