At Tuesday’s hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., asked Adm. James Stavridis if the Navy planned on going back to the Vieques. The small Puerto Rican island was home to an integrated Navy training range until 2003, when it was shut down following a fatal bombing accident and heavy protests by the locals.
Inhofe, who waged a very public battle to keep the base open, along with Naval Station Roosevelt Roads on Puerto Rico, brought it up again with Stavridis, the head of U.S. Southern Command and nominee to run European Command.
“I’m getting people coming back to me saying, ‘Any possibility of reopening Vieques as a site?'” Inhofe said. “Any thoughts on that?”
“Sir, that would, of course, fall under the purview of my good friend, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead,” Stavridis responded. “I’ll take that message back to Admiral Roughead and ask them to interact with you.”
(Thanks to William H. McMichael)