• Lessons from Housing Privatization Can Be Applied to New Installation Initiatives

    Lessons from Housing Privatization Can Be Applied to New Installation Initiatives0

    The Army’s successful housing privatization initiative can be used as a model to guide future reforms of DOD’s real estate portfolio, two former high-ranking Army officials say in a recent commentary in the Wall Street Journal. “The program’s success shows how partnerships between business and the military can often achieve better outcomes than the military can achieve on its own. This is especially so when applied to the vast infrastructure that consumes more than $200 billion of today’s defense budget,” say Sandy Apgar, who served as assistant secretary of the Army for installations and environment from 1998-2001, and Jack Keane, who served as the Army’s vice chief of staff from 1999-2003. Apgar and Keane suggest that other assets, such as offices, warehousing and maintenance, could be monetized and their performance improved …

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  • Navy Would Have a Role to Play in Next BRAC Round, Mabus Says0

    Since the Obama administration first proposed holding new rounds of base closure four years ago, Navy leaders have consistently supported the proposal while making clear they didn’t have a significant need to close any bases.
    Navy Secretary Ray Mabus stuck to that stance in an interview with the Connecticut Mirror, but indicated the service most likely would propose shuttering at least one facility. “I’m sure we’d have something [on the BRAC list], but I don’t know what that would be,” he said …

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  • Partnerships, Trimming Facilities Footprint Are Keys for New ACSIM

    Partnerships, Trimming Facilities Footprint Are Keys for New ACSIM0

    Unsurprisingly, many of the priorities of Lt. Gen. Gwen Bingham, the Army’s new assistant chief of staff for installation management, are focused on ways to cope with severe funding constraints. One of her priorities is carrying out the Army’s ongoing “Reduce the Footprint” initiative, an effort to cut the overall cost of maintaining infrastructure by eliminating excess facilities. The Army spends an estimated $450 million to $500 million annually maintaining underused facilities, reports the Army News Service. “Right now we are in fiscally-constrained times. So being able to garner back dollars on reducing excess infrastructure is important,” Bingham said. “If you could imagine recouping that amount of money every year, and think about how we can invest that in the readiness of our soldiers — that’s huge …

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  • Kaine Supports Base Closures, but not BRAC

    Kaine Supports Base Closures, but not BRAC0

    Like many of his fellow lawmakers, Sen. Tim Kaine has opposed the Obama administration’s repeated requests to hold one or more rounds of base closure. In contrast to most BRAC opponents, though, Kaine, who was selected Friday to be the running mate of Hillary Clinton, freely acknowledges the need for DOD to shed some of its excess infrastructure in light of estimates that 22 percent of its capacity is unneeded. His objection to the Pentagon’s BRAC requests stems from the process, which forces every defense community to invest resources in protecting its bases even if they aren’t in any real jeopardy …

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  • BRAC Reform Bill Is ‘Different,’ Smith Says

    BRAC Reform Bill Is ‘Different,’ Smith Says0

    While the legislation he introduced last month to authorize a round of base closures includes a number of reforms to the process, Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) acknowledges the decision to approve a new BRAC remains a difficult decision for many lawmakers. “The only way we get a BRAC is if we push political arguments hard enough to make people change their minds,” Smith told Defense News last month. “I think the country sees the common sense, if the military is coming out and says it has 22 percent excess capacity. Given the national security threat we face and given the finite resources we have, if there is money to be saved, we have to do it …

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  • Air Force to Grade Installations on Military Value

    Air Force to Grade Installations on Military Value0

    With the timing of a new BRAC round uncertain, the Air Force has decided to conduct its own evaluations of its installations that possibly could be used to assign missions or prioritize investments in facilities. “We need a better understanding of the military value of our installations and to do some more strategic thinking about where to invest our limited resources,” Richard Hartley, principal deputy assistant secretary for installations, environment and energy, told the Defense Communities 2016 National Summit last week. “We don’t know exactly how we’re going to use this analysis yet …

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