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Ellsworth officials ready if base closures become reality

RAPID CITY (AP) -- Supporters of the Ellsworth Air Force Base near Rapid City say the facility is in good position should it need to survive another round of base closures.

RAPID CITY (AP) - Supporters of the Ellsworth Air Force Base near Rapid City say the facility is in good position should it need to survive another round of base closures.

U.S. Democratic Rep. Adam Smith, of Washington, introduced a bill in January seeking to convene a new Base Realignment and Closure Commission, known as BRAC.

Ellsworth Development Authority director Scott Landguth tells the Rapid City Journal that his group has continued to work on improving conditions at the base since the last closure round in 2005.

South Dakota's congressional delegation is opposed to new base closures and Rep. Kristi Noem says she doesn't expect the bill to get much support. However, Republican Sens. John McCain and Jack Reed have said they're open to discussing the possibility with new Defense Secretary James Mattis.

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