Due to concern as to whether the Defense Department is managing its real estate holdings efficiently, the House Armed Services Committee asks the Air Force to provide a report on its need to retain a housing area formerly used by Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., according to report language accompanying the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill.
“In an era of declining resources, the committee is concerned by decisions made by the Department of Defense to retain underutilized real property,” the report states.
“The committee is supportive of real property authorities that provide the secretary concerned the authority to outlease non-excess properties, but believes that there are instances where the Department has not fully utilized these authorities to manage its real property assets,” the committee says.
The committee notes that the Air Force is still spending money to maintain the housing area destroyed by Hurricane Katrina even though it is vacant and the community has expressed an interest in reusing the tract. The property is not contiguous to the base.
The committee directs the Air Force to assess the value of the site and determine whether the service needs to retain it. The report also should study the feasibility of an enhanced use lease or discuss the Air Force’s intent to dispose of the property.
The committee approved the annual policy bill last week. The measure is expected to be brought up on the House floor next week. H.R. 4435 and H. Rpt. 113-446 are available on the House Rules Committee website.