Homeport Pascagoula Celebrates 10 Years

July 4th 2002 marks the 10th anniversary of Naval Station Pascagoula . Today the facility is bigger than ever, but base Commander Terry Rea says she is concerned about homeport's future.

"I think Naval Station Pascagoula is likely to be vulnerable in the next round of BRACS, and really probably increased mission would be our best defense against that," said Base Commander Terry Rea.

Increasing the base's mission means bringing another Navy ship to Pascagoula. That's why the base and its staff are working hard to improve the quality of life for sailors, and make it more attractive to a new crew.

Staff members say one of the biggest factors in favor of the base, is the community support from Jackson County.

Facilities Director Matt Schultz says, "This is the best place to work with the relationship with the community. I've never worked at any Naval base that the people come to you and said, 'What can I do to help."

That help is something the homeport officials say they will count on when the base reviewing process starts in about 18 months.

Jackson County's Chamber of Commerce says it's already working on plans to defend the base, and even has a task force of local businesses leaders in place. They just returned from a trip to Washington D.C., where they met with Naval officials about the base's future.