FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 13, 2005
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG STATEMENT ON THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE BASE REALIGNMENT AND CLOSURE COMMISSION
“The Pentagon has thankfully decided today not to recommend the closing of the military installation at Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn. Fort Hamilton, one of the oldest Army installations in the country, currently serves the region’s large retired and reserve communities and is headquarters to the Army’s most active recruiting battalions. More than 600 civilian employees and 1,200 military personnel and their families, work and reside on this 179-year-old Army post. However, Fort Totten in Queens is to be realigned under the plan issued by the Pentagon today. The plan will move the headquarters of the 77th Regional Readiness Command and 75 military and 74 civilian jobs. We are waiting for additional information from the Army to better understand how this will impact the future use of the Fort Totten base and the existing plans to develop parts of the base for public park land.
“Since September 11th, Fort Hamilton has assumed a greater role as it is the City’s only active military base. Today, Fort Hamilton provides a secure location for training for the FBI, Secret Service, NYPD and FDNY, including counter terrorism exercise programs. The US Recruiting Battalion at Fort Hamilton is the second largest in the entire Army and the largest in the northeast.
“Just last August my administration announced $52.4 million in taxable bonds for a development initiative to provide affordable quality housing for the brave men and women living at Fort Hamilton and who protect our great City and Country. This summer we will complete the first phase of a plan for 185 new homes, the renovation of 43 existing homes including 6 historic town-houses at Fort Hamilton.
“Fort Hamilton serves a vital role in protecting national security because it is a strategic location from which to support New York City and because it represents a secure staging location. Congressman Vito Fossella has been a forceful advocate on the floor of Congress and in the halls of the Pentagon as he and the Fort Hamilton Task Force have produced irrefutable evidence as to the strength of Fort Hamilton. U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton as well as Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz are also to be applauded for their effectiveness in urging the Pentagon to keep Fort Hamilton open.”
Edward Skyler / Paul Elliott (212) 788-2958