Accessibility links

Historic Walter Reed Army Medical Center to Close

A .S. military panel has voted to close the historic Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C., a facility that has treated U.S. presidents, soldiers and foreign leaders for almost a century.

The panel voted Thursday to close Walter Reed as part of its plan to restructure military bases around the country.

Plans call for most of the work being done at the 96-year-old hospital to move to the Bethesda Naval Medical Center in nearby Maryland, creating an expanded facility. The Bethesda center would take the Walter Reed name.

Washington city officials voiced disappointment at the pending closure, which will transfer more than 5,600 jobs out of the District of Columbia.

The commission chairman said troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan deserve to come home to 21st century medical care. He said Walter Reed is old and needs to be modernized.

Some information for this story provided by AP and Reuters.