Former Gov. Mitch Daniels' Newsroom

Contact: Jane Jankowski
Phone: 317/232-1622

For Immediate Release: Feb 11, 2005
Governor praises Military Base Protection Act

CRANE, Indiana (February 11, 2005) ? The state strengthened its commitment to the future of the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center today when Governor Mitch Daniels hailed passage of House Bill 1022 during a visit to Crane.

The bill bolsters Crane?s military advantage of ?non-encroachment,? which will protect the 63,000-acre installation?s strategic remote location and better integrate the center into the state?s decision-making process. Specifically, the bill strengthens Crane?s geographic advantages as compared to other Department of Defense installations that are being considered for closure by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission.

?The people of Indiana want the Department of Defense to know how much we value Crane and its economic development potential. As we argue the case for Crane in Washington, D.C. in several weeks, this is evidence of our support for the long-term viability of this center,? said Daniels. ?We obviously can?t advise the defense department about its military requirements but we can make sure they know how important Crane is to us.?

Crane is the second largest employer in southern Indiana and the 12th largest in Indiana, putting $500 million annually into the local economy. It has world-class technology, research and development capabilities, and, among other expertise, is lead for the Pentagon?s new cutting edge security system, which could play a significant role in Indiana?s homeland security programs. Indiana companies use Crane?s testing and analysis laboratories for product development, evaluation and problem-solving.

House Bill 1022 also sets up a military base planning council, which will address infrastructure needs, community support and encroachment threats and explore collaboration with state universities and Indiana companies.

?This council will help Crane leverage its resources so firms throughout Indiana and across the country know its extraordinary capabilities. We want to do everything we can to grow this important asset,? said the governor.

The bill?s authors are Rep. Eric Koch, R-Bedford; Rep. Peggy Welch, D-Bloomington; Rep. Bruce Borders, R-Jasonville; and Rep. Troy Woodruff, R-Vincennes. Senate sponsors are Sen. Brent Steele, R-Bedford; Sen. Lindel Hume, D-Princeton; Sen. Tom Wyss, R-Fort Wayne; and Sen. David Ford, R-Hartford City. The bill becomes effective immediately.