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St. Louis base closing meeting delayed

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Scott Air Force Base in the Metro-East would stay open and gain jobs, under the Pentagon's plan (KWMU photo)

By AP/KWMU

St. Louis, MO – A regional hearing in St. Louis on the Pentagon's plans to close military bases has been delayed.

The independent commission reviewing the base-closings list had planned to meet in St. Louis next Tuesday. The purpose was to take testimony from officials from several states.

That session has now been postponed indefinitely, following complaints from U.S Senators who were seeking time to review new information on how the Pentagon made its decisions.

The Defense Department agreed just last week to let members of Congress view its data.

Missouri stands to lose about 3,700 military and civilian jobs under the Pentagon's plans. The 131st Fighter Wing at Lambert Airport would also lose its F-15 fighter jets.

Illinois would also lose more than 2,000 jobs, though Scott Air Force Base in the Metro-East would gain.

Missouri U.S. Senator Kit Bond says postponing the hearing will give officials time to prepare arguments against what he calls the Pentagon's "flawed recommendations." His and others' argument against moving the F-15 jets is that it will make it harder to respond to a homeland security emergency in St. Louis.

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