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Governor Perdue Names Former Transition Chair Swearingen As Senior Adviser to Georgia on Military Bases; Former U. S. Senators Mattingly and Nunn to Serve as Honorary Co-Chairs

Wednesday, June 4, 2003  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


Atlanta - Shortly after signing Senate Bill 261 into law today, Governor Sonny Perdue announced that former Perdue Transition Chair Carl Swearingen has agreed to serve as a Special Advisor to Governor Perdue on Georgia's efforts to prepare for the next round of Base Realignment And Closure (BRAC) decisions by the U.S. Department of Defense. Former U. S. Senators Mack Mattingly and Sam Nunn have agreed to serve as Honorary Co-Chairs of the effort. The BRAC Commission is scheduled to make final recommendations to President Bush regarding potential base closings in September 2005.

"Today, I am honored to announce that Carl Swearingen, a respected member of the business community and an expert in organizational management, will serve as a key advisor to the state on this issue," said Governor Sonny Perdue. "I am also pleased that former U. S. Senators Mack Mattingly and Sam Nunn, both known for their thorough knowledge of our nation's defense operations, have expressed their support of Georgia's efforts to enhance the value of our military installations by serving as Honorary Co-Chairs. I am committed to a comprehensive review of our military bases to determine how these installations can continue to provide valuable contributions to our nation's defense efforts, in times of war and peace."

"Growing up near the Air Force Base in Warner Robins, I know first hand the impact a military base can have on a community. Georgia's bases provide a great stimulus to our economy in terms of money spent in our communities, civilian jobs and incentives for businesses to develop and grow. I want to do everything I can as Governor to ensure the major economic stimulus from our state's military installations remains viable," said Governor Perdue.

Added Senator Mattingly: "Georgia is home to 13 military bases, each of which is an important part of the life of our state and the communities in which they are located. Of greatest importance is their value to our country and I am committed to protecting them for all of us. I deeply appreciate the opportunity afforded to me by Governor Perdue to assist our great state in this important undertaking."

"Although my schedule precludes my assuming an active role on the base coordinating committee, I am pleased to join my friend and former colleague Mack Mattingly as an Honorary Co-Chair. I applaud Governor Perdue's interest in and commitment to Georgia's military installations and his recognition of the importance of coordination and partnership between our state leadership, our community leadership and our Congressional delegation. Georgia's bases will face tough scrutiny in the new series of base reviews, but I have every confidence in the strength of our state's military installations and their vital role in protecting our nation," said Senator Nunn.

Governor Perdue will announce additional members to assist in this effort in coming weeks.

Governor Calls Business Community to Get Involved In Keeping Georgia's Bases Viable

"Recently, I met with Georgia Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) members and issued a challenge to the business community to play a leading role in Georgia's efforts to keep our military bases. Business leaders certainly recognize the economic impact military installations bring to our local communities and state," said Governor Perdue.

According to Georgia's Military Affairs Coordinating Committee, military operations have a $25 billion economic impact on the state economy.

"The BRAC Commission will make final recommendations in September 2005, a date not too far away. When the final report is delivered to President Bush, the fate of Georgia's military bases and several local communities will also be decided.

"Georgia did not lose a single base in previous BRAC rounds. As Governor, I am committed to protecting all of our bases. To do that, I am calling upon the Chamber to assist local communities in establishing public-private partnerships at every base community in Georgia," added Governor Perdue.

Currently, four such public-private partnerships exist: (1) 21st Century Partnership at Robins AFB headed by Ron Smith (Warner Robins), (2) Moody Support Partnership under Parker Greene (Valdosta), (3) Central Savannah River Alliance BRAC Committee directed by Larry DeMeyers (Savannah), and 4) Friends of Kings Bay under Sheila McNeill (Brunswick).

"While I would like to thank Ron Smith, Parker Greene, Larry DeMeyers and Sheila McNeill for their community leadership efforts, there's more work to be done. We need these types of local partnerships in each of the communities that our military installations call home," added Governor Perdue.

The State has committed $300,000 to this effort in the FY 2004 budget. The Governor also asked the Georgia Chamber to lead an initiative to raising the same amount in matching private funds.

Mattingly, Nunn, and Swearingen Bring Key Experience to Statewide Effort

Mack Mattingly was elected to the United States Senate in 1980. While in the Senate, he was Chairman of the Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee, the Legislative Branch Subcommittee and the Congressional Operations and Oversight Subcommittee, as well as a member of the Appropriations Committee, the Banking and Housing Committee, the Governmental Affairs Committee and the Joint Economic Committee. In 1987, President Ronald Reagan appointed him Assistant Secretary General for Defense Support for NATO in Brussels, Belgium. Mattingly served four years in the United States Air Force during the Korean War and was stationed for a time at Hunter Air Field in Savannah. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Indiana University in 1957. Afterwards, he worked twenty years for the IBM Corporation in Georgia, and later operated his own business, M's Inc. He currently resides in St. Simons, Georgia. He is married to the former Leslie Davisson and has two daughters and five grandchildren.

Sam Nunn is Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), a charitable organization working to reduce the global threats from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. He is also a senior partner in the law firm of King & Spalding. Nunn served as a United States Senator from Georgia for 24 years (1972-1996). Nunn attended Georgia Tech, Emory University and Emory Law School, where he graduated with honors in 1962. After active duty service in the U.S. Coast Guard, he served six years in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve. He first entered politics as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives in 1968. During his tenure in the U.S. Senate, Senator Nunn served as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. He also served on the Intelligence and Small Business Committees. In addition to his work with NTI, Senator Nunn has continued his service in the public policy arena as a distinguished professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at Georgia Tech and as chairman of the board of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. He is married to the former Colleen O'Brien and has two children, Michelle and Brian, and one grandchild.

Carl Swearingen most recently served as Chair of the Perdue Transition Team. He began his telecommunications career with Southern Bell in 1972. In 1977, he became general public relations manager for Georgia, and in 1985 became assistant vice president - public affairs for BellSouth Telecommunications Inc. in Charlotte, North Carolina. In 1989 he was named president of BellSouth Telecommunications in Georgia serving in that position for nine years. In 1998 he was promoted to Senior Vice President and Corporate Secretary for the BellSouth Corporation. He retired from BellSouth in 2001. Swearingen is a graduate of the University of Georgia, where he earned bachelors and masters degree in journalism. He also received a Masters of Science in Management from MIT. Swearingen was commissioned a 2nd Lt. in the United States Air Force. He served on active duty as an Air Intelligence Officer in Cam Rahn Bay and Saigon, South Vietnam and at Homestead AFB, Florida. He received the Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam. He has been quite active in community affairs, including serving on the boards of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, and the University of Georgia Foundation. Swearingen is married to the former Patricia Collier, has two married children, and one grandchild.