Sherman Calls on BRAC Commission to Reconsider Encino Training Center Closing
Washington, D.C. - Congressman Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) expressed skepticism at Defense Secretary Rumsfeld including the Navy-Marine Corps Reserve Center Encino in his list of recommendations for the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission. Over 240 reservists drill at the facility, and over a quarter of them have been mobilized since September 11th.
œThe BRAC Commission must closely examine the value of the Navy-Marine Corps Reserve Center Encino, Sherman said, œMaking sure our fighting men and women have the best available training facilities should be a top priority. I will continue to reach out to the President and the BRAC Commission to ensure that the facilitys future is carefully examined.
œShould the recommendation to close the Training Center be ratified, I will work with L.A. City to find the best use for the closed facility, Sherman added.
The Reserve Center is located in the Sepulveda Basin. The Army Corp of Engineers owns the Basin and leases most of it to the Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation for a nominal amount.
œIf the Reserve Center is closed. I will work to have the military lease the Reserve Center site to the City of Los Angeles for a nominal amount for recreation/educational purposes, Sherman said.
The Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Center Encino opened in 1971, replacing a nearby facility in North Hollywood. There are currently 33 military personnel assigned full time to the facility. Together with the reservists who train there, the Center is a boost to the Valleys economy. After the Northridge earthquake, the Center housed a California Conservation Corps staff. The Centers classrooms are currently used by the Los Angeles police and fire department for training.
The BRAC Commission will consider the Secretarys suggestions, holding hearings throughout the country. Their final recommendations will go to the President in September. If he accepts the list, Congress will have 45 days to reject the entire list, or else it takes effect.