U.S. Sen. Bob Casey is asking a key Senate committee to look overseas first before considering whether to close domestic military installations as part of Defense Department cutbacks.
The Democrat from Pennsylvania said in a letter Thursday to Senate Armed Services Committee leaders that the last round of base closings proved more costly and less effective over time.
He said the committee should first consider closing outdated bases abroad. The committee was expected to take up the issue of closings when it considers a defense funding bill.
Military installations in the state include the Letterkenny Army Depot in south-central Pennsylvania and the Tobyhanna Army Depot in northeastern Pennsylvania.
The Philadelphia Navy shipyard and the Willow Grove Naval Air Station Base in suburban Philadelphia were lost in the previous two rounds of base closures.
"As we continue to make sense of these uncertain times and what it means for our military, I urge the committee to defer any possibility of domestic base closures until our nation (studies how forces are organized) and reassesses its overseas commitments," Casey wrote.
Casey said another round of closures could reduce the country's military readiness.
"I will continue to oppose (closures) and will work with Pennsylvania installations to highlight the invaluable role they play in our nation's defense," he said in a statement.