Pentagon Comptroller Appears Nonchalant Regarding New BRAC Rounds
Is DOD counting on gaining Congress’ acquiescence for at least one of the two BRAC rounds it plans to request?
At Monday’s news briefing, Comptroller Robert Hale reiterated that DOD officials did not include in their future years defense plan an estimate of the costs or saving associated with two BRAC rounds, primarily because the ability to conduct a new BRAC depends on getting a green light from Congress.
Still, he seemed to deflect a question about the repercussions if Congress fails to authorize another base closure round a little too casually.
“Since we haven’t budgeted for them, we’re OK,” he said.
Hale provided one new factor to explain why the department did not want to estimate the potential savings new BRAC rounds would generate. The services — particularly the Army and Marine Corps — need to determine more precisely how they would carry out the changes in force structure they have proposed before DOD can estimate likely BRAC savings.
So, at this point, all we really know is that the department believes it needs two new base closure rounds, one in 2013 and one in 2015, to consolidate its infrastructure if the force structure reductions outlined in the new budget go ahead.
“While this is a difficult process, additional rounds of BRAC will enable DOD to align infrastructure to meet the needs of a leaner, more agile and flexible force,” according to an overview of DOD’s budget request.