POINT MUGU : Base Supporters Receive Update

Supporters of the drive to ensure that the Point Mugu Navy base is kept open met Thursday to hear an update on the campaign.

Billed as a rally, the meeting was more of an informational presentation on the status of the effort to save the base, the largest employer in Ventura County, providing about 9,000 jobs.

Held at the California Air National Guard near the base, the meeting was organized by the National Assn. of Government Employees, which represents 2,000 workers at Point Mugu. About 35 people attended.

Speakers included union leaders, Navy officials, members of the BRAC-95 Task Force and Supervisor Judy Mikels, who said California could not weather more base closures.

"It's not only vital to Southern California," Mikels said, "It's vital to all of California."

Alan Alpers, spokesman for the base, told the crowd that top Navy officials are backing the drive to save Point Mugu, which seems to fare well according to the criteria used to determine which facilities should be closed. But, he said, there is no guarantee the base will be spared.

Meanwhile, the federal Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission on Thursday announced its schedule for deliberations. It plans to decide the future of Point Mugu in Washington on June 22, the first day of hearings.

The six-member commission will consider the fate of Point Mugu and 180 other bases under scrutiny for closure or realignment. The hearings, expected to last well into the night, will continue until June 26.

The commissioners have said they have not made a decision on a proposal to shutter most of Point Mugu and move its testing labs to the China Lake naval base in the upper Mojave Desert.

The commission must complete its work and submit its closure list to President Clinton by July 1.

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