21st Century: Don’t tie G-RAMP to base closure

WARNER ROBINS — A 21st Century Partnership liaison on Thursday urged advocates of the Georgia-Robins Aerospace Maintenance Partnership to stop pushing the project as an insurance policy against Base Realignment and Closure.

“G-RAMP should never be used in the same discussion with BRAC,” said retired Maj. Gen. Rick Goddard, a former commander of the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center. “If you try to tie the two together ... that could be used as a wedge against us.”

Goddard made his remarks at the 21st Century Partnership’s board of directors meeting held at the Museum of Aviation. The partnership is a nonprofit organization in Warner Robins that coordinates local support for Robins Air Force Base.

Goddard predicted the Department of Defense would not propose another round of base closures until after the 2012 elections at the earliest. Advertising G-RAMP as a hedge against BRAC could backfire if G-RAMP is not completed by the next round of base closures, he said.

“I probably say that 10 times a day,” said 21st Century Partnership Executive Director Mary Therese Tebbe. “The two are not related.”

Tebbe is currently the only paid employee on the 21st Century Partnership staff. Retired Maj. Gen. Ron Smith, another former Warner Robins Air Logistics Center commander, recently retired from the group after years as a consultant. He has not yet been replaced.

Tebbe also announced the 21st Century Partnership would soon hold a fundraiser but did not elaborate on the details of the event.

“Something really cool is in the hopper,” Tebbe said, adding only that “it’s not a golf tournament.”

To contact writer Thomas L. Day, call 744-4489.