JEFFERSON CITY — Three members of Missouri's congressional delegation say programs at the state's largest military bases are too important to cut or move elsewhere.
Federal defense officials have said base closures are needed to save money. But at Missouri's Capitol on Tuesday, U.S. Reps. Vicky Hartzler, Blaine Luetkemeyer and Todd Akin, all Republicans, said Fort Leonard Wood and Whiteman Air Force Base should be spared from possible cuts.
Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat who is chairwoman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has also said she would oppose base reductions.
Base cuts are handled by a military commission, and Congress can vote on its recommendations.
During the last base reductions in 2005, an Air National Guard unit in St. Louis was closed, and staff was cut at some military offices.