The Base Realignment and Closure Commission has now received the Pentagon’s list of military bases and facilities proposed for closure. The BRCC may cut from the list, or add to it, before it goes to the Congress. So I propose they add the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado to the list for simple closure. Why?

No public higher education institution can do its job when so marked by violence against women and an exclusivist religious orthodoxy. Had the Air Force moved more quickly, more nimbly, more persuasively against its core problems we might imagine real change. Instead, it’s time to consider a fresh start.

What would that start look like? Consider a Joint Institute of Information Technology and Engineering, decentralized in several locations. One to consider is the former naval base at Treasure Island, in San Francisco Bay, which was shut in the last round of base closings but remains in federal hands—and would have access to some of the best teaching talent in coming technologies. The BRCC anticipated ‘jointness’ in the base closing recommendations: some sign that the Pentagon was truly committed to joint work among the service arms. Here, then, is an opportunity to prepare cadets for demands of the future including, but not confined to, prospective Air Force officers.

Once upon a time there was no Air Force Academy, and no Air Force, yet the Army and Navy built squadrons to fight WWII. We read that some of the pilots of today’s Air Force fly ‘unpiloted’ aerial vehicles from consoles thousands of miles away. The drift is to move pilots out of the cockpits. Nor do we need to train Buck Rogers clones to fight imaginary wars in space. The coming missions of the Air Force can be performed as well by women as by men, and it is against the national interest that women who seek Air Force leadership positions must run the gauntlet of the Air Force Academy. And it goes without saying that capture of a United States military academy by a sect undermines the idea of equal citizens and endangers the Constitution.

I seem to remember something about ‘zero base budgeting’, several decades ago. No part of government, it was argued, should be immune from asking “is the case for this function so compelling that the next best use of the funds should not be funded?” Shall we take a new look at the Air Force Academy?


[Bruce’s Blog: 2005.05.17. Post: Bxx Short Link p=48. Front Door Index: http://blog.learnworld.com/. Permalink: http://www.learnworld.com/BRUCE/uncategorized/❄-close-the-air-force-academy/]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.