Another round of military base closings isn’t inevitable, says U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), but he still wants Illinois to make its case to keep its big military facilities open. Durbin has already toured Scott Air Force Base with military officials, and is confident it wouldn’t be touched if another Base Realignment and Closure Commission is established. He says the Rock Island Arsenal, however, is on shakier ground.
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“For the longest time, the Pentagon resisted sending work there,” Durbin said. “Well, we turned that around on a bipartisan basis, they’re sending more work, but we’ve got to get a new mentality in the Pentagon where they actually consider soliciting bids from the Arsenal. They can do work at low cost and save taxpayers money.” Durbin also considers Naval Station Great Lakes in North Chicago to be safe. If another BRAC was proposed in Congress, Durbin said now, he would vote against it.