Taking second step: BRAC commissioner visits Pope AFB Published May 26, 2005 By Senior Airman Stacia Zachary 43rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs POPE AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. (AFPN) -- A Base Realignment and Closure commissioner met with base leaders here May 24 to discuss the base’s inclusion on the 2005 BRAC list, the units that could potentially be affected and the land that comprises the base.“My visit is not to announce Pope will be closed. Rather I am here to get a personal understanding of what comprises Pope,” said retired Navy Adm. Harold Gehman Jr. “It is important to keep in mind that this is only the second part of an eight step process. I am here mostly to see if anything (about the recommendation concerning Pope) is wildly out of kilter … and to make sure that the infrastructures and surroundings comply with what the paperwork states.”BRAC recommendations are the government’s and the military’s way of continually shifting the focus and assets to better serve the United States.“The military needs to continually change itself for the challenges it faces. The military always needs to be changing,” Admiral Gehman said. “And part of that constant shift is where the military’s assets lie. (BRAC announcements) are just part of the normal change process.”Part of the eight-step process includes the opportunity for the public to voice their concerns. “The third step is public hearings, and that is where the public and the governor will be given a chance to speak on Pope’s behalf,” Admiral Gehman.The public hearings are scheduled for June 28 in nearby Charlotte, officials said. For more information about the BRAC process, visit www.af.mil/brac.