Point Mugu & Port Hueneme - What is their Future?

BRAC : (Base Re-Alignment and Closure)
BRIC : (Base Really Is Closing)

With the war clouds looming on the horizon of the Ides of March 2003, and the extended need which protracted war operations will have on the nation and it's military establishment, are our two local bases safe to feel good about their future?

The VC Star reported on Saturday, March 8th that several jobs (48 positions) on the CBC Side of Naval Base Ventura County were in peril of being dissolved, the humans in those slots, given pink slips and then where else to go besides usajobs.opm.gov. as an ICTAP or Surplus employee.


Many positions on the CBC base were under review or "CA Study" which really means 'ca-ca' to those who will be saying farewell to their federal paycheck after the April drop-dead date.

These 'RIF's happen often and many local area residents have been negatively impacted by reductions-in-force of the ever dwindling civilian work sector.


What's up with all this?
Money is a big part, but not all. Many of the jobs which in the
'good-old days' belonged to the military men in uniform
 slowly transitioned to civil service workers.
In the 80's many of the civilian tasks were given over to private contractors (non-government employees) thus saving the federal government the need to pay for benefits such as healthcare, sick and annual leave and the ever present retirement.

In or about 1987, the old civil service standard for federal workers was converted to a new retirement system known now as FERS (Fed.Employee.Retirement.System) and this conversion saved the Government millions as the pay-out for future retirees under this system would be less than the expense paid under civil service (aka CSR for civ.serv.retirement). CSR paid out more handsome retirement checks because those CS employees did not make Social Security deposits while federal workers. All they had in retirement was their Federal retirement check and no SSA benefit. With FERS, a modest deduction is taken for retirement and when the FERS employee retires their benefit will be a mix of SS + Modest Gov't Retirement Check + any money saved under the Federal 401K knows as TSP(Thrift.Savings.Plan). FERS / Fed employees now contribute to SS thru deduxions.

SO THERE's THE LESSON IN RETIREMENT. . . Now back to the bases.

PT. Mugu and BRAC danced as partners before, many times, and these dance-steps created shaky underpinnings of security for all who work at the bases. They become over time - traumat-zed.

To add to the trauma, many folks have been 'RIF'd before at both bases throughout the past few years and the method and meaning of who gets chosen to go and why is always a mystery.

John Jay, a former Pt. Mugu Fed-employee, has written many interesting pieces for the Oxnard Journal and we are looking to publish more of his articles in the not-too distant future. He has seen many of the horrors that happen to people who are RIF'd or are forced to pre-maturely retire (another cost cutting method to save the gov't money).
He adds his own slant to the mystery of those things.

Point Mugu and China Lake are both on the list as are other bases where commanders and civilian (SES) employees make the hard decision of what bases go next on the list.

Closure is due to many factor's. Location is prime - especially if there are civilian pressures on the Brass to place those prime bases into CIVPAC and CIVLANT control. Civilian leadership always wants to get their little grubbies on prime militia turf.

Pt. Mugu is considered prime territory as a Joint use Airport is being explored by local civic leaders who dream of large Ventura Air Terminus. PT MUGU could become an international airport to rival
LAX - and JOHN WAYNE ... since it's all a matter of LOCATION, LOCATION, and LOCATION.

If BRAC closes Mugu completely and moves ops to China Lake or elsewhere, then Mugu could well go back civilian control. Maybe the county could get it's airport or maybe even our own SONYLAND if the Japanese can repatriate Mugu to it's former tenants. Mugu, before the base was a Japanese Fishing Village - according to fractured historical recounts.

Interesting enough, CBC - the western HQ for the Seabees is not far out of sight range from the BRAC's reduction rifle. Another interesting factoid is that of former NMCB-40 and 30th NCR's commanding officer, Michael R. Johnson is now KING BEE as head Admiral at the Naval Facilities Command in Wash.D.C.
M.R. Johnson was also former PWC Officer at ADAK. He now, as military-head of NAVAC, has a lot of weight contained in his pen. His decision and signature could sink or save the future BRAC selectees for 2005.

The War will certainly tell the nation of how important it is to have and preserve what few bases we keep operational and remaining and dedicated to solely supporting their military hosts.

The War will certainly tell the world how strong we are and how important it is for our and other nations to sacrifice for freedom.

The War will certainly not last forever and the time duration of military ops in far-flung locales highly impacts how successful the 2005 BRAC Boards will be - if they are to convene.

Stay tuned to the OxJo for more on BRAC.

/s/ Bill Winter - Editor -


. . . . ARMY BRAC. . . . NAVY BRAC......159 Page Report /.pdf file . . . .

. . . . COMPREHENSIVE LIST of BASES & Story Detail . . . . NAVPAC . . .

CPEO-info . . . . . Ctr.for.DEF.info . .

. . . WINTER HARBOR - attempt to save . . . Charleston, S.C. Tools up for '05

TAPS - Navy Dead Bases List . . . G-U-M . . Mid-Sentence Data . . .


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