O’Malley, W.Va. governor urge Navy to keep open center

ROCKET CENTER, W.Va. — West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is teaming up with Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley to urge the Navy to maintain its presence at the Allegany Ballistics Laboratory at Rocket Center.

The 2012 military spending plan requires the Navy to reduce its information technology centers. Tomblin and O’Malley sent a letter to Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus on Friday asking him not to close the Allegany Ballistics Laboratory. They suggest instead that the 1,600-acre facility in the Eastern Panhandle is perfect for a consolidated center that could create additional jobs.

The governors touted the center’s close proximity to Washington, D.C., significant Navy presence and lower employee costs as some of the reasons to keep it open.

Defense contractor Alliant Techsystems, which runs a plant there, already plans layoff this month.

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