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Early next month, a prized part of Sacramento's economy will be forced into a high-stakes game.
On Sept. 8, the Air Force will publish a request for proposals, seeking bidders for about $220 million in government contracts now handled at McClellan Air Force Base. The 2,000 civilian employees who perform the work comprise an annual payroll of $70 million.
Three groups plan to submit bids. Two are private consortiums that would keep the work at McClellan. The third is Hill Air Force Base in Ogden, Utah, which would whisk the work away.
An additional danger comes from the so-called "depot caucus." Made up of congressmen who represent military repair depots in other states, the caucus is threatening to kill the bidding altogether, which would let Congress simply send the McClellan jobs elsewhere.
In jeopardy along with the contracts is $250 million worth of aviation repair equipment - the tools for McClellan's future as an aviation repair …