DOD may study the need for additional base closures even if language in the House version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill calling for a comprehensive assessment of excess infrastructure is stripped from the conference report, John Conger, acting deputy undersecretary for installations and environment, said Wednesday.
“Even if it doesn’t end up in the final version, I think it’s a signal that we can go ahead and do a capacity analysis at a parametric level,” Conger told CQ. “It’s not a bad thing to have those numbers,” he said.
The bill language directs DOD to compare 20-year force structure plans for each of the services with an inventory of their installations to determine the level of excess infrastructure throughout the department. It also requires the defense secretary to certify the need for the closure or realignment of additional installations.
The provision would require the secretary to certify that “every recommendation for the closure or realignment of military installations in the additional round of closures and realignments will result in annual net savings for each of the military departments within six years” after the new round begins.
Conger said he believes the department does not need congressional approval for the study even if the House provision fall out of the final bill. In fact, the Army completed a similar analysis earlier this year.
Conger emphasized that the study would only provide an overview of how much excess capacity exists within the military; it would not delineate where it exists. He said he hopes up-to-date information would help the Pentagon convince lawmakers of the need for a new BRAC round.
“The more information that is out there, the better,” Conger said.