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IL Leaders Meet to Discuss Base Closing Strategy

By AP/KWMU

Washington, DC – Illinois' congressional delegation met Thursday with state officials and consultants to map out a strategy to save all of the state's military installations - including Scott AFB - from the Pentagon's next round of base closings.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin set up the meeting with one simple theme: "We are not going to save a base in Illinois at the expense of another base in Illinois."

Jack Lavin, the director of the Illinois' commerce agency, says the state also plans to try to drum up new military uses for its bases so that they may expand.

U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, of Illinois, says if the state can hold on to what it has in the next round of base closings it will be in pretty good shape.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has certified to Congress that the next round of base closures must proceed next year because the military has about 24% more base capacity than it needs.

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