House Readiness Panel Dismisses BRAC Request

The House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee once again rejects the Obama administration’s request to hold a BRAC round in 2017, according to its portion of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill.

The language in the draft bill stating that, “Nothing in this act shall be construed to authorize an additional Base Realignment and Closure round,” affirms the committee’s intent to reject DOD’s request to conduct a BRAC round in 2017, the panel states.  

The panel marks up its section of the annual policy bill today. The draft bill also calls for the department to prepare force structure plans and an infrastructure assessment that could be used to determine the level of excess capacity. The language, however, does not directly link the analysis to a justification for a new BRAC round.

Last year, the panel requested an analysis of excess infrastructure, but it tied the analysis to a determination of the need for a round of base closures. That provision ultimately was removed from the final version of the FY 2015 authorization bill.

The infrastructure assessment included in this year’s policy measure is largely similar, however, and calls for DOD to submit:

  • 20-year force structure plans for each of the services;
  • an inventory of worldwide installations;
  • a description of the infrastructure necessary to support the force structure plans;
  • a discussion of categories of excess infrastructure and infrastructure capacity, and the secretary’s objective for the reduction of such excess capacity; and
  • an assessment of the value of retaining certain excess infrastructure to accommodate contingency, mobilization and surge requirements.

And similar to language in the House Appropriations Committee’s report accompanying the FY 2016 military construction-veteran affairs spending bill, the readiness panel adds the following special considerations for determining the extent of excess capacity:

  • the anticipated continuing need for and availability of installations outside the United States, taking into account current and  potential future restrictions on their use; and
  • any efficiencies that may be gained from joint tenancy by more than one branch at an installation or by reorganizing two or more installations into a single facility.

The readiness subcommittee’s portion of the authorization bill is available on the committee website.

Dan Cohen
Dan Cohen
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