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Remarks Prior to a Meeting With the Initial Base Adjustment Strategy Committee in San Antonio, Texas

October 17, 1995

Well, I'd like to begin by making an opening statement and to say how very pleased I am to have a chance to come here to San Antonio and to Kelly Air Force Base to follow up on the meeting that I had with the fine committee in Washington 2 months ago.

I know that officials from the Defense Department, John White and Rudy de Leon, were here in August, and they're back here with me today. And we have done a lot of work with this community. I have been very, very impressed with their Kelly 21 project, the vision of it, the energy of it. I hope that you have seen the commitment of the administration to try to maintain employment at appropriate levels, to try to have a reasonable period of transition, and to try to make sure that in the end you are as successful as you possibly can be.

We believe that if we do this right, we can generate even more employment in this area as we go through this transition period.

I want to say a special word of thanks to your former mayor, Secretary Cisneros, who has worked with me very closely on this and advised me. General Viccellio, I want to say I know that this community is very encouraged by the fact that you're going to be overseeing this process. And I want to say a word of appreciation, too, to Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez, who can't be here today—he's in Washington—and of course, to Congressman Frank Tejeda, our prayers go out to him. I had a quick conversation with him just a few days ago.

The most important thing, I think, to announce today for the San Antonio community is that we have reached an agreement on joint use of the base which will, obviously, permit you to do precisely what you proposed to do. We are committed to implementing that agreement on joint use in good faith. And as I said, my goal is to do this in such a way that the strengths of this community and the strengths of this great resource will generate even more employment and more stability for you at the end of this 5-year process—really an 8-year process—than you had when we began it and than you would have had given the fact that we have to lower our presence all across the country in the aftermath of the cold war. Mr. Mayor, that's my commitment, and I think we're going to deliver on it.

Thank you very much.

NOTE: The President spoke at 1 p.m. in the Pilots Lounge in the Base Operations Building. In his remarks, he referred to Deputy Secretary of Defense John White; Under Secretary of the Air Force Rudy de Leon; Gen. Henry Viccellio, Jr., USAF, Commander, Air Force Materiel Command; and Mayor William E. Thornton of San Antonio. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.

William J. Clinton, Remarks Prior to a Meeting With the Initial Base Adjustment Strategy Committee in San Antonio, Texas Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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