Seeing his state about to get hit hard by sequestration budget cuts, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell looked down the road and saw another possible threat looming.
Congress is not currently planning for it. But in an economic climate of defense cutting, McDonnell feared that Congress might support a new round of federal base closures, making Virginia’s defense assets vulnerable.
So McDonnell tapped the recently retired head of the Navy’s Fleet Forces Command, Adm. John Harvey, to lead a state commission tasked with helping Virginia avoid losing any military installations and positioning it to attract more.
The state board is being reconstituted years after the 2005 round of congressionally mandated closures forced the Army to vacate historic Fort Monroe in Hampton.
Harvey says his 15-member team will travel the state to examine how military bases and communities interact and to gather data showing why Virginia is the ideal place for these bases.