RICHMOND -- Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has re-formed a key advisory panel on military affairs, in light of possible impacts from sequestration and coupled with the possibility of a new round of base closings starting in fiscal year 2014.
The governor has signed executive orders to reconstitute the state's Commission on Military Installations and Defense Activities and has found a heavy hitter to lead it - retired four-star Admiral John Harvey, the former commander of U.S. Navy Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk.
“What we’re hoping with a great leader like Admiral Harvey, who knows the military inside and out, as well as some of our cabinet members, legislators and other leaders, is that we can begin to craft some of the response solutions,” McDonnell said. “And I would hope with the esteem that he would bring to this group, we’re trying to position our great military bases, particularly Hampton Roads, in as good a light as possible.”
Harvey’s appointment is already drawing rave reviews.
Retired Vice Admiral Hank Giffin of Norfolk said, “Admiral Harvey is just an unbelievable choice. I can’t think of anyone else that has more respect.”
Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms, whose city almost lost Oceana in the last round of BRAC, was also enthusiastic.
“I think Admiral Harvey with his experience, just leaving his command recently, will be a tremendous asset. I think his wisdom and leadership is just going to be spectacular,” Sessoms said.