December 9, 2005
St. Louis, Mo. — Attorney General Jay Nixon today filed a lawsuit in federal district court against Department of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to prevent the transfer of 15 F-15 fighter jets from their current base with the 131st Fighter Wing of the Missouri Air National Guard in St. Louis to units outside Missouri. The transfer would eliminate hundreds of jobs in the St. Louis area.
In May, Rumsfeld presented a report to the Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) that included the recommendation that all the F-15s be transferred from the base at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. The commission adopted the report's recommendations and transmitted it to President Bush. The President approved the recommendations and forwarded them to Congress. Nixon's lawsuit became ripe for filing after Congress failed to disapprove the report.
Nixon said the loss of the fighters from the base in St. Louis would deprive the Governor of Missouri of an irreplaceable tool in maintaining homeland security. The move of the planes also violates federal law, the lawsuit states, because it would be done without the consent of the Governor.
The Attorney General is asking the court to find that the BRAC recommendations regarding the 131st Fighter Wing are invalid, null and void. Nixon also is seeking an injunction against the Secretary of Defense to present the transfer of the aircraft.