Homeland Security Center Proposed for Cape Cod Base

Training center would be located near existing military facilities


WASHINGTON (AP) - Gov. Mitt Romney urged Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff on Friday to establish a homeland security training center near existing military facilities on Cape Cod.

The Masschusetts Military Reservation, located on the Upper Cape, includes Otis Air National Guard base, as well as Coast Guard and Army National Guard bases. Other local emergency responders have also used the area for training.

State and local officials have banded together to ask that the federal government set up the first New England homeland security training center at the base, saying it already has many of the facilities needed.

Romney said the meeting with Chertoff was productive, and said the secretary "was impressed with the degree of local support, and intrigued with the attractive element of putting a center in Massachusetts."

He said that setting up a homeland security training center there will bring more people to the area and add full-time jobs. In addition, he said, it would expand the base's mission, which could help as federal officials consider which military bases should be targeted for shutdown this year.