For Immediate Release: September
Helton Appointed to Oklahoma Strategic Military Planning Commission
City) Senate Majority Whip Sam
Helton, D-Lawton, has been appointed to the state commission
dedicated to protecting Oklahoma’s military installations
from being downsized or closed.
Senate President Pro Tempore Cal
Hobson, D-Lexington, announced Helton’s appointment
to the Oklahoma Strategic Military Planning Commission Tuesday.
He replaces the late Senator Keith
Leftwich on the commission.
Fort Sill in Lawton is in Helton’s Senate district.
of Oklahoma’s bases are absolutely essential to Oklahoma’s
economy. This commission can play an important role in keeping
those bases off the next federal base closure list in 2005,”
House Bill 1396, authored by Leftwich and Rep. David
Braddock, D-Altus, created the planning commission earlier
this year to analyze and recommend changes in policies affecting
military facilities in the state.
Oklahoma’s military bases escaped closure or downsizing
in four previous rounds of federal Base Closure and Realignment
in the late 1980s and 1990s. Congress has, however, approved
another round of base closures for 2005.
The planning commission advises and recommends to the Legislature
and to the Governor procedures which would:
* prevent Oklahoma's military facilities from being targeted
for closing or downsizing;
* maximize Oklahoma's input into the federal base closing
and realignment process;
* protect the interest of the communities and residents of
areas located within and adjacent to such military facilities
in connection with such process;
* mitigate the effect of a reduction in military personnel
housed or assigned to military facilities in Oklahoma, reduction
in military activity associated with those facilities or changes
in either civilian or military activity which have the potential
to reduce employment, business activity, personal income or
other economic growth in the affected areas; and,
* encourage and facilitate the relocation of mission responsibilities
and resources to Oklahoma military installations from bases
outside of Oklahoma.
In addition to Helton, members of the commission include Braddock
and representatives of each of the Oklahoma communities that
house the state’s five military installations: Altus
Air Force Base in Jackson County, Vance Air Force Base at
Enid, Fort Still Army Post in Lawton, the Army Ammunition
Depot in McAlester and Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City.
For more information, contact:
Senate Communications Division
- (405) 521-5605