Pennsylvania Rep. Bill Shuster (R) has asked Defense Secretary Ash Carter to justify the Pentagon’s request to hold a BRAC round in 2019, demanding him to explain why a new round would be more likely to achieve projected costs savings than the 2005 round and why it would yield a basing footprint that aligns with DOD’s assessment of global threats in the decade following 2019.
“The United States is facing a serious and wide array of threats to our national security, the likes of which we have not witnessed in decades, and now is not the time to slash infrastructure in search of unproven and alleged cost savings,” according to the April 1 letter from Shuster, a member of the House Armed Services Committee.
Shuster represents a district in south central Pennsylvania, the home of Letterkenny Army Depot. He requests Carter provide other information as well:
- a comparison of the initial cost savings projected for the 2005 BRAC and the latest assessment of what cost savings were achieved;
- a projection of estimated cost savings for a BRAC in 2019; and
- an assessment of impacts a 2019 round would have on the organic industrial base.
“Given the dangerous situation the United States faces, we must not make shortsighted and difficult to reverse decisions about our military infrastructure,” he concludes.
In a press release, Shuster vowed to block any cuts to the military or Letterkenny, which employs more than 3,200 people.
“The only thing stopping a BRAC right now is the prohibition put in place by the House Armed Services Committee, which I have the honor of serving on,” he said. “The men and women at Letterkenny provide a valuable service to our nation’s security and any attempt to shutter the depot would not only have a severe impact on our local economy but would also hinder the readiness of our armed forces.”