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N.C. Waits As Military Prepares For Round Of Base Closings

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GOLDSBORO, N.C. — Anticipation is growing in Goldsboro as the deadline nears for a list of military base closures.

Seymour Johnson Air Force Base could appear on the list expected to come out Friday.

The base employs 4,800 people, including about 540 civilians. It has an estimated economic impact of $800 million each year in the town of about 38,000 people.

"I'm hoping they'll let the base stay here because I'm not sure what Goldsboro would do," business owner Lisa Sargent said.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld estimates about 20 percent of the country's bases could close.

This is not the first time Seymour Johnson, the smallest of six major bases in the state, has been on the chopping block. In the mid-1990s, it also appeared on a list of possible closures.