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Larry MacIntyre
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Friday, May 13, 2005

IU President Adam W. Herbert reaffirms support for Crane

Defense Department realignment would cut 683 jobs at the Indiana naval base

May 13, 2005

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University President Adam W. Herbert today (May 13) reaffirmed the university's commitment to being a full partner with the state of Indiana in seeking to reverse the loss of jobs at the Crane Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center.

Under a base realignment and closure (BRAC) plan announced by the Pentagon, Crane would see its 4,000-member civilian workforce cut by 683 workers.

"We are pleased that the Secretary of Defense is recommending that Crane remain open as an active base supporting the military for many years to come," Herbert said. "However, we are disappointed that this region of the state might see such a large loss of high-paying, high-tech jobs that are so vital to our economy."

Herbert said IU will work with state officials to find ways to attract private investments and university partnerships that, over time, will make up for -- or exceed -- any jobs that might be lost to the BRAC process.

"With this new challenge arising for Indiana, I want to reaffirm the commitment of Indiana University in strengthening our partnership with Crane and the state," Herbert said.

The Pentagon's recommendations for Crane must now be reviewed by the independent BRAC Commission. The nine-member panel will evaluate the Defense Department recommendations and then submit its own list to the president for review and approval later this year.

This gives Indiana and Crane supporters one more opportunity to make a case not only for preserving current staff levels at Crane, but also for relocating Defense Department activities to Crane from other bases.

Herbert said IU is ready to provide assistance and support to Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman in their dealings with the BRAC Commission.

Last February, IU entered into a cooperative research agreement with Crane, Purdue University and the Indiana Counter-Terrorism and Security Council to develop ways in which the world-class research facilities of the two universities could be used to develop new technologies for homeland security or military use. Lt. Gov. Skillman oversees the efforts of this consortium.

IU's life sciences laboratories in Bloomington and Indianapolis -- as well as its advanced super-computing capabilities -- could provide substantial cutting-edge research capacity for this initiative, Herbert said.

"We must tell our story that Crane and the surrounding area would make an ideal location for the kinds of research and development initiatives that will be evolving in the fields of national defense and homeland security," Herbert said.

Herbert said that Crane has land, infrastructure and a capable, highly-trained workforce -- all located within one of the most secure military bases east of the Mississippi River. He added that its proximity to IU's Bloomington campus and the university's cadre of life science and information technology scientists should add to its attractiveness as a site for high-tech investment.

The 100-square-mile military facility, which is located 25 miles southwest of Bloomington, is home to some 4,000 Defense Department researchers and technicians engaged in procuring and upgrading a wide variety of military munitions, weapons, communications and radar equipment.