Inland Empire California Faces Base Closes

Closing the 1,160-employee Naval Surface Warfare Center would have a $78 million economic impact on Norco and surrounding communities because of a loss in payroll spending, according to a 2004 study by Redlands-based economist John Husing.

"The Norco base is the Navy's only independent assessment facility," said Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Riverside. "It is my belief that the Department of Defense should not only retain the base but enhance this special function."

Barstow could be economically and culturally devastated if the Pentagon shutters the Army's Fort Irwin and the Marine Corps Logistics facility in its latest round of closures, which could come as early as Friday.

The two nearby installations account for about 52 percent of Barstow's economic base a combined $724 million in annual military and civilian payrolls and government contracts and purchases.

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