Connecticut officials will meet with the BRAC commission in Boston today on the fate of the New London Submarine Base. Among the chief arguments against its closing will be the still unconfirmed size of the future submarine force. The sub force numbers quoted by various Navy sources have ranged from as low as 30 to as high as the current 54 submarines putting into question what that final number will be. An AP report in Newsday puts it this way:
The Pentagon's four-year review of the nation's military strategy, called the Quadrennial Defense Review, could be the final word on the subject and is expected to be released late this year. By then, however, Groton's fate likely will be sealed.
Simmons, a Republican whose district includes Groton, said closing the facility based on uncertain projections of the fleet's size would amount to the BRAC commission writing military policy.
Part of their argument may well be to wait until the Quadrennial Defense Review provides definitive numbers on submarine force size requirements and settles the differences between the Pentagon planners and the submarine force fleet commanders.
Additional points will be made about the sub base, synergy, and military value with other facilities and contractors. It will be argued that the Navy did not take into context the New London Sub base vicinity to nearby Submarine contractor Electric Boat and Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, R.I., which develops submarine technology. Maintaining an industrial base and shipbuilding capacity has been of continuing concern to the Navy.
CT State commissioners will also discuss community, economic, and environmental issues.