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Dakotas Officials Wary Of Proposed Defense Cuts

January 27, 2012, 6:10 AM

Dakotas Officials Wary Of Proposed Defense Cuts
BISMARCK, ND - The Pentagon's plan for slowing the growth of military spending is drawing the attention of officials in the Dakotas.

One proposal is a new round of domestic base closures. North Dakota Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad and Republican Sen. John Hoeven say savings from base-closing rounds are questionable.

Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota was targeted for closure in 2005 but survived. Rapid City Chamber of Commerce official Pat McElgunn says Ellsworth is in a stronger position now because it not only has bombers but has taken on Air Force payroll and financial management duties, and might also get a drone mission.

North Dakota officials are worried about the proposed elimination of the C-27J Spartan cargo aircraft. The state National Guard is to get some of the planes next year.

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