House Panel Sets Table for Future BRAC Round

The House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee unsurprisingly rejects the Pentagon’s request to hold a BRAC round in 2017 according to the portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill it is scheduled to mark up this morning, but at the same time the panel calls for DOD to prepare a comprehensive assessment of the need for additional base closures. 

The analysis would 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. The evaluation would include:

  • a discussion of categories of excess infrastructure and DOD’s targets for reducing such excess capacity;
  • an assessment of the value of retaining certain excess infrastructure to support surge or reversibility requirements; and
  • an economic analysis of the impact of closing or realigning installations to reduce excess capacity.

The subcommittee’s mark also calls for the assessment to consider the anticipated need for and availability of installations outside the United States, taking into account restrictions on their use. It also should consider the savings that could be generated by joint basing.

The analysis would culminate in a certification from the defense secretary regarding the need for the closure or realignment of additional installations. The legislation also 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.

The department would submit its assessment of excess infrastructure to Congress with the justification documents for its FY 2016 budget request. A review by the Government Accountability Office of the force structure plans, infrastructure inventory, and the need for the closure or realignment of additional installations would be required to be completed 60 days later.

The draft legislation is available on the committee website.

Dan Cohen
Dan Cohen
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