In her opening remarks prior to a media event on BRAC 2005 the Army put on last month, Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary for installations, energy and environment, summed up the tremendous strides the service has taken over the previous six years.
She noted the gains the Army has made from repositioning and rebalancing its forces, creating new centers of excellence and restructuring the Reserves, before pointing out the enormous contribution the Army’s $18 billion BRAC construction effort has made to support the economy.
Based on a study estimating that each $1 billion in nonresidential construction spending adds about $3.4 billion to the gross domestic product, $1.1 billion to personal earnings, and creates or sustains 28,500 jobs, Hammack concluded the BRAC program was critical to sustaining the nation during a challenging period.
“So if you take a look at the Army BRAC efforts over all, that means that it contributed over $60 billion to gross domestic product and almost $20 billion to personal earnings, while creating or sustaining over 500,000 jobs,” she said.
She also was hopeful that closure communities would take advantage of the opportunity to transform former military sites.
“The other thing to keep in mind is at the completion of BRAC the Army will have returned or repurposed over 70,000 acres of excess property to local communities. And we remain committed to working with the BRAC 2005 communities to help them achieve their vision,” Hammack said.