The federal government is proposing to close and downsize military bases in 2015, and state leaders say that is putting Pennsylvania's twelve bases, $30 billion in economic impact, and 213,000 defense jobs at risk.
Governor Tom Corbett created a new commission to try to protect Pennsylvania bases. Members of the Pennsylvania Military Base Protection Commission met for the first time Tuesday.
"If you are not proactive and are not prepared to tell your story, that can result in a negative impact," Lt. Governor Jim Cawley said. "Pennsylvania, in fact, holds the dubious distinction in previous BRAC rounds of having a great deal more closures than any other state," he said.
The Letterkenny Army Depot, Mechanicsburg Navy Depot, Army War College in Carlisle, Defense Logistics Agency in New Cumberland, and Fort Indiantown Gap in Lebanon County have been spared before, but there is no guarantee next time around.
The commission wants to make sure Midstate bases and those who work there are secure.
"Knowing that the commission members are here fighting for us it gives us peace of mind, but we know that there's a lot of hard work to do in the months to come," said Joan Nissley with the Pa. Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.
"This commission is going to have quite a substantial positive effect on maintaining and growing the bases that we have," Cawley said.