Standing before members of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday morning, Fort Gordon's Maj. Gen. Janet Hicks said she's ready for a Base Realignment and Closure list.
Maj. Gen. Janet Hicks, the commander of Fort Gordon, says the post is prepared for the Base Realignment and Closure process if it happens soon.
"We could not be better postured to go through a BRAC process than now,'' she said, but added that a timeline on the process has become uncertain because of its progress through Congress.
Hicks, who became commander of Fort Gordon and the Army's Signal Center in 2002, said BRAC is needed to bring the military's structure more in line with where it should be. She said further delays could make it more difficult to keep up area efforts to save Fort Gordon.
"We need to keep pushing that,'' she said. "And it's my desire that BRAC occur.''
The BRAC list, showing military institutions that would be closed, was to come out in 2005. However, there has been a recent effort in Congress to delay base closures until 2007.
Hicks, who was the guest speaker at the chamber's Not Just Coffee gathering, also spoke about her connection to Columbia County and gave some details on the ongoing war in Iraq.
Hicks said she has a personal connection to the area. She has purchased a home in Columbia County, and her daughter attends Augusta Preparatory Day School.
"We intend to make Columbia County our retirement home,'' she said, eliciting loud applause from those at the event.
Hicks then turned to the war in Iraq, referring to today's soldiers as "absolutely wonderful'' and "absolutely capable and willing to lay lives on the line for their country.''
Hicks, however, did speak about some areas where the Army has had to learn concerning Iraq. She said there was a time when not all soldiers had body armor or armored vehicles. She said that deficiency has now been taken care of.
Hicks also said that the post is now undertaking an initiative to take down many of its World War II buildings, freeing up the area for green space and future growth.
"We have enormous potential for growth at Fort Gordon,'' she said.
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