California Military Council Set To Protect Bases

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SACRAMENTO -- After being placed on permanent status, Gov. Jerry Brown's Military Council is coming up with a strategic plan to protect the state's military installations from closure.

"The military is down to the lowest amount we've ever had, but we have things that are one of a kind in California," said Council Chair Ellen Tauscher.

There are still around 30 military facilities in the state even after several rounds of base closures over the years. The council consists of community leaders, elected officials and former high-ranking military leaders.

Part of the plan is to join with like-minded base supporters in other western states to highlight the value of the bases not only to local economies, but to the strategic goals and advanced technological needs of the military.

Brown attended Tuesday's meeting of the council he created more than two years ago.

He said California's high-tech reputation and research and development assets are the envy of the world. He credited military contracts for creating the foundation for Silicon Valley decades ago.

"There is a very important connection, because without the defense contracts, the aerospace contracts California wouldn't be where it is," Brown said.

The meeting was a precursor to a daylong conference of base supporters and commanders on Wednesday to share challenges and solutions to base issues throughout the state.

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