from the Office of State Senator Craig Estes, District 30

For Immediate Release
August 19, 2004
Contact: Lewis Simmons
(512) 463-0130

Estes Hosting Senate BRAC Hearing Here Monday

AUSTIN, TX -- State Senator Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, will host a hearing Monday, Aug. 23, of the Texas Senate Subcommittee on Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC).

The hearing will begin at 12:30 p.m. Monday at the Kemp Center for the Arts when members of the committee will hear invited testimony and public comment regarding the U.S. Department of Defense's upcoming base realignment and closure round and issues of concern to Texas' defense communities.

"I am honored to host this hearing on behalf of Sheppard Air Force Base, Wichita Falls, Burkburnett, Iowa Park and the surrounding area in an effort to spotlight Sheppard's important mission for our nation, our region and our allies around the globe," Estes said.

Committee members will hear testimony from the Texas Military Preparedness Commission regarding general BRAC issues as they affect Texas and an update on the commission's activities.

Testimony also will be given by leaders in Wichita Falls and surrounding communities regarding local activities to help prepare Sheppard Air Force Base for BRAC and beyond.

Prior to Monday afternoon's hearing, committee members will tour Sheppard Air Force Base. Other state senators on the committee are chairman Eliot Shapleigh, D-El Paso, and Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay. This is a subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs and Military Installations which Estes serves as vice-chairman in addition to chairman Letitia Van DePutte, D-San Antonio, and Kel Seliger, R- Amarillo.

Sheppard Air Force Base is among the 18 major military installations in Texas, and the Senate BRAC Subcommittee has been working with these communities to prepare for the 2005 round of BRAC.

The subcommittee also is charged with evaluating the implementation of important defense-related legislation passed during the 78th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature including Senate Bill 652, also known as the Military Preparedness Act. The subcommittee also is monitoring national BRAC developments and working with local, state and federal officials to coordinate a unified effort to protect and improve Texas' military communities.

# # #