HARRISBURG, September 17, 2012 – – State Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) today applauded the creation of the new Pennsylvania Military Community Protection Commission, which will better position Pennsylvania to protect its military installations as the Pentagon and various military services consider additional rounds of Base Realignment and Closure Commissions (BRAC).
Blake, co-chairman of the Legislative Military Caucus, and other legislators gathered at the headquarters of the Pennsylvania National Guard 28th Infantry Division in Harrisburg earlier today where Gov. Tom Corbett announced an executive order that created the new commission.
“The wide-ranging impact and value of Tobyhanna Army Depot to Northeastern Pennsylvania and to our regional economy is immeasurable,” Blake said. “By creating this new commission, we are reaffirming our commitment to Tobyhanna and to all other military installations throughout the commonwealth and ensuring that all of these installations are properly positioned to deal with future federal defense cuts.”
As a founding member of the Military Installations and Base Development Caucus, Blake will also serve as a member of the new Pennsylvania Military Community Protection Commission.
According to the executive order, the commission will assist the governor by providing recommendations and input to enhance the military value of all installations, organizations and defense related regions located within the commonwealth; it will establish a strong liaison with Pennsylvania’s Congressional delegation; and it will provide quarterly reports on its activities to the governor. The commission will also assist in expanding economic development opportunities for defense industry business concerns that maintain a presence in Pennsylvania.
Blake noted that there are there are nearly 80,000 Pennsylvanians currently employed in defense-related jobs at the bases and facilities throughout the commonwealth. Tobyhanna Army Depot, in Northeastern PA, is the largest, full-service electronics maintenance facility in the Department of Defense and employs roughly 5,500 people. The Northeastern Pennsylvania Alliance’s certified economic model reported that Tobyhanna’s total regional annual economic impact is $2.8 billion and its presence alone sustains 18,000 regional jobs.
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