I haven't heard all the arguments either way, but somehow three bases with subs on the East Coast does not seem to be much in the way of overkill. Given that China and Korea (not to mention Russia may be a friend now but ...) are building subs, it's a bit premature to downsize our sub fleet any more, and perhaps time to reconsider their value in the future -- perhaps re-designed. Just because subs couldn't maneuver in the Gulf during the Gulf War and there is no longer a Cold War threat from the USSR doesn't mean subs are obsolete. I believe our enemies will always be focusing on our weaknesses. I don't think the value of a sub-base in such close proximity to NYC and the large population concentration that is the tri-state area and lower New England should be underestimated.
Here is a recent article from a ''local paper'' that raises many issues:
Navy: Sub Base's Military Value Low
But Lawmakers, Markowicz Say Pentagon Plan Can't Be Justified
If the Subbase is closed, no doubt EB would close up shop as well. I think the area could recover, even flourish, if significant planning for a baseless future is undertaken. I don't know how many here have ever driven through Groton (there is a bridge on I95 that gives folks a good view of the whole operation) but one thing that is apparent is that miles and miles of otherwise desireable shoreland is marred by the base and associated industry. I could foresee major tourism, resort and housing opportunities. Tons of jobs for the cleanup and obvious construction jobs for the transition. The refinery idea that Bush had would probably be another way to go. IAC, I don't think it NEEDS to be the ''sucker punch death blow'' that many are making it out to be. EB as an employer of skilled labor has long since downsized and the economy of the area diversified -- then there are the two big Casinos. Foxwoods just opened a golf resort nearby its huge casino (at a site where Six Flags had tried to come -- maybe the Subbase will be a better location for a Six Flags?). I do hope some of our politicians are thinking about this, though there is nothing in that for Dodd or Lieberman -- state politicians tend to cater to SW CT (Fairfield County) and the ''big cities'' of Hartford, New Haven and Bridgeport. That leaves Simmons and the local politicians. The recent story about New London city council trying to seize homes for their ''development'' initiatives doesn't bode well for any greater braintrust in motion in Groton.
Much as I respect Governor Rell, I heard her on the radio the other day exclaiming how a main reason for not closing the base was the underestimate of the cost of cleaning up the base. This is the weakest argument of all, IMO, because one has to wonder how ''dirty'' it is now, and if kept open it won't be cleaned up. OTOH, the military will pay for the cleanup and that will be a years-long project that will require a substantial workforce.
and in Maine? I know both are slated, but do you think that either will be able to survive this threat and continue? Also, have you any idea where they think they're going to do the maintenance and repair if both close?
It makes no sense to me that a trained and capable workforce can be tossed aside like this. Its not like these particular skills are easy to learn or are widely available.
Hope you have some info.