The Charleston area received a $50,000 check from the state Monday to help protect the region’s military sites from Congress’ next round of Pentagon cost-cuts, commonly known as BRAC.
Congress is expected to call for a base realignment and closure review again in 2015, possibly with a follow-up in 2017, as it seeks to root out inefficiency, redundancy and unnecessary spending.
BRAC is what caused the Charleston Navy Base and Shipyard to be ordered closed in the 1990s, although the state fared much better during the last closure round, called in 2005.
The money awarded Monday came from the S.C. Military Base Task Force and was turned over to the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce by state Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom.
“We’re in very perilous, uncertain times,” Eckstrom said of Department of Defense budgeting.
Mary Graham, of the chamber’s military base defense committee, said the money joins more than $1 million in commitments from local businesses and governments for use in case any of Charleston’s more than 50 military commands is targeted.
The money could be used in a variety of response methods, she said, ranging from hiring lobbyists and consultants, to promoting the region’s mission to visiting dignitaries.
Charleston’s money was part of the task force’s distribution of $200,000 to the state’s other big military communities including Beaufort, Columbia and Sumter.
Collectively, military bases in these four areas, plus the S.C. National Guard and numerous private-sector defense contractors, generate more than $15.7 billion in economic activity in the state, a recent S.C. Department of Commerce report found. They support more than 138,000 jobs.