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Published February 13, 2012, 06:06 PM

Berg: Another Round of BRAC Not Likely

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - North Dakota Congressman Rick Berg is confident there will not be another round of military Base Realignment and Closure in the near future.

By: David Schwab, WDAZ

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - North Dakota Congressman Rick Berg is confident there will not be another round of military Base Realignment and Closure in the near future.

Berg visited the Grand Forks Air Force Base on Monday.

Berg's visit was mainly to meet with the Commander of the Grand Forks Air Force Base Col. Timothy Bush and talk about what might be next for the base.

One of the things Berg talked about with Bush was the possibility of another round of base realignment and closures. Berg says Republican members of congress, who hold a majority, do not support a resolution needed for a BRAC.

"It needs to pass both chambers and it needs to pass the house and it becomes a moot issue," Berg said.

Berg agrees that cuts need to be made to get U.S. spending and debt under control, but reductions should come from other places.

"The administration has been on a mission to reduce funding for the military. And quite frankly one of our core responsibilities is to have a strong military," Berg said.

Berg says the Grand Forks Air Force Base's advantages include its infrastructure and proximity to UND Aerospace and the border patrol.

"As we are more out of the earmark era and into performance and priorities. What we have going here should put them at the top of the list for an expanded mission and building on the current missions we have," Berg said.

That expanded mission could be a new tanker mission.

"I think Grand Forks is ideally suited for it. We are set up for tankers, we had tankers. The turnkey cost should be competitive with any place else in the country," Berg said.

Berg says the Grand Forks Air Force Base has a good shot of becoming one of six test sites for flying UAS's in commercial airspace.

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