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Panel Asks GAO to Assess How Communities Handled Mission Growth

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  • April 29, 2012
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While the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee on Friday rejected the Pentagon’s request for two new BRAC rounds, at the same time it called for the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review how defense communities that experienced significant mission growth in the past handled the associated strains on their transportation infrastructure, schools, utilities and housing.

“Now that the Department of Defense has completed its fifth BRAC round and the potential exists for future infrastructure, force structure and installation mission changes, local communities may once again have to manage potentially significant installation change,” the subcommittee wrote in the report language accompanying its section of the fiscal 2013 defense authorization bill.

Some growth communities were not as well prepared as others and, as a result, could benefit from learning the strategies used more by successful regions. “Coping with growth is particularly important because the ability of the installation to meet mission requirements can be affected by overburdened transportation and utilities networks,” the report language stated.

The report directs GAO to submit a report by March 1, 2013, that addresses:

  • best practices that communities and states relied on to handle growth, closure or mission changes and how those practices could be replicated in the future;
  • opportunities that exist to share best practices; and
  • the extent to which communities and states recovered from the closure of major installations in past BRAC rounds.

The subcommittee passed its portion of the authorization bill by voice vote Friday; the full committee is scheduled to mark up the measure May 9. The subcommittee’s section is available on the committee website.

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