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Posts Tagged ‘defense authorization bill’

Reduction in Army Brigades to Follow Cuts in End Strength, Vice Chief Says

  • March 13, 2014
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Army planners are determining how many brigade combat teams will need to be eliminated as the service’s active-duty forces shrink to between 440,000 and 450,000 soldiers, the end strength included in its fiscal 2015 budget request. The Army’s size is slated to drop to 420,000 under DOD’s five-year spending plan, an outcome which could be averted if Congress lifts the spending caps imposed under the 2011 Budget Control Act. The Army already is reducing the number of brigade combat teams from 45 to 32 as part of its plan to shrink its active component end strength by 80,000 soldiers to 490,000 by 2015 …

Need for BRAC is Clear, Installation Officials Tell Lawmakers

  • March 12, 2014
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A new round of base closures is needed to avoid wasting money on unneeded facilities, John Conger, acting deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment, told the House Appropriations Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Wednesday. Equally important, granting DOD the authority to realign and shutter installations also would free up defense funds for other urgent priorities, including readiness and modernization, Conger told lawmakers. The services’ installation chiefs who testified along with Conger all emphasized that they have excess capacity, a disparity that is particularly acute for the Army and Air Force …

BRAC is DOD’s Preferred Method to Address Excess Infrastructure, Spokesman Insists

  • March 9, 2014
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Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby on Friday successfully deflected a reporter’s question as to when DOD would act to eliminate excess infrastructure outside the bounds of BRAC by repeating multiple times that officials would prefer to pare down the department’s real estate portfolio through a base closure round. “The preferred method is to work with the Congress and to get another round of BRAC,” Kirby said. The reporter asked Kirby to clarify recent statements by Defense Secretary and other top officials that DOD has authorities beyond BRAC to reduce its infrastructure, but the press secretary offered very little in terms of specifics …

Opposition Mounts on Hill to BRAC Request

  • March 5, 2014
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The Pentagon’s request to hold a round of base closures in 2017 is having trouble gaining traction among lawmakers, a similar reception to its requests for additional BRAC rounds in each of the past two years. The administration’s proposal stands little chance of going forward this year, Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Wednesday following his panel’s hearing on DOD’s fiscal 2015 budget request. “I just don’t think we’ve seen the value of it, including the last BRAC …

Senate Readiness Chair Maintains Resistance to BRAC Request

  • March 4, 2014
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New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D), chairman of the Armed Services’ subcommittee responsible for installations policy, last week reiterated her opposition to the Pentagon’s request to conduct a new round of base closures. Last week, during his preview of the fiscal 2015 budget request — which is scheduled to be formally unveiled today — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said DOD will ask Congress for permission to hold a BRAC round in 2017, the third consecutive year the Obama administration has requested additional base closures. “Another BRAC round would have serious consequences for our shipyard, our workers, and our economy in New Hampshire …

HASC Ranking Member Stands up for BRAC

  • February 23, 2014
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The Pentagon could be forced to realign unneeded installations outside of the normal BRAC process if Congress continues to bar it from conducting a new round of base closures, according to written comments the office of Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) submitted to Breaking Defense last week. “Mr. Smith thinks that given the changing size and shape of our military force, the Department of Defense needs to be able to adjust its infrastructure to accommodate and reflect the shape of the force,” according to Smith’s office. “It is his hope that Congress acts and these changes are made through the normal BRAC process …

Lawmakers Preempt Pentagon on BRAC

  • February 19, 2014
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With DOD’s fiscal 2015 budget proposal scheduled to be released in less than two weeks, questions from reporters as to how Congress would respond to an expected request for a new round of base closures are on the rise. In recent weeks, several lawmakers, including two Democrats on the Senate Armed Services Committee, responded that it is unlikely Congress would agree to a new round. When asked last week how a BRAC would affect Central Florida, Sen. Bill Nelson (Fla.) told the reporter, “I’m a senior member of the Armed Services Committee from which it would come, and we’re not having a BRAC any time soon …

Congress Should OK Pentagon’s BRAC Request, Defense Experts Say

  • February 18, 2014
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Ninety-one percent of the defense and foreign policy experts responding to a survey conducted by the National Journal believe that Congress should approve the Defense Department’s request to hold a new round of base closures. “Excess capacity exists across all the military services. Congress and communities face either a slow decline at every base, with little hope for any economic relief anywhere, or selective closures that bolster needed bases and let other areas start on the road to recovery and life after closure …

Army Looking at Excess Space at Installations

  • February 17, 2014
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The Army is taking an inventory of its facilities to assess how much excess infrastructure it maintains, ahead of a recommendation to the office of the secretary of defense (OSD) about the need for a new round of base closures. The Army maintains a lot of space and facilities that are not being utilized or are just partially utilized, Paul Cramer, deputy assistant secretary for installations, housing and partnerships, told the Army News Service. As a result, officials will recommend a new BRAC round be held in 2017, Cramer said …

Up(Capitol)hill Battle Remains for DOD to Secure New BRAC Authorization

  • February 13, 2014
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Little has changed in the battle between Congress and the Pentagon over whether lawmakers will authorize a new BRAC in the two years since the Obama administration first asked to hold additional rounds of base closure, with DOD still needing to overcome significant opposition in both chambers. If DOD wants lawmakers to approve a new round, the department will need to counter past arguments against it and, possibly, surmount an even higher hurdle — defend the momentum leading toward a much smaller military — according to discussions led by installation officials and Capitol Hill staff at this week’s 2014 Installation Innovation Forum …

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