Murray Expands Task Force To Protect Massachusetts Bases From Pentagon Cutbacks, Closures
Massachusetts Lieutenant-Governor Timothy Murray says he is expanding a Task Force he heads to promote and protect the state's six military bases from possible Pentagon cutbacks or closures.Murray says the so-called Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force will include four sub-committees to focus on technology, education and workforce development, community engagement and aligning military, business and industry needs. Murray says the military bases, including Westover Air Reserve in Chicopee and Barnes Air National Guard in Westfield, along with the defense and aerospace industries generate more than 120,000 jobs in Massachusetts. He says the Baystate's abundance of high tech, green tech and higher education resources can help the military as it tries to operate and innovate amidst reduced budgets. Murray says one area the state could help is reducing the military's enormous energy costs.
“That's the number one Defense Department priority - reducing energy costs. And now we've been recognized as the best state in the country at reducing our energy costs, implementing energy efficiency measures, looking at use of renewables. So if we can bring that expertise in the public and private sector to bear working with our military we can reduce costs. And in doing so, more I think credibly make the case why you need to keep those missions here.”
The task force was created earlier this year after the Defense Department proposed cutting $259 billion over the next five years.