One way to make better use of excess capacity in DOD’s industrial base following the drawdown from Iraq and Afghanistan is to encourage industry to use it, according to Army and industry officials speaking on Wednesday at the Association of the U.S. Army’s winter conference.
“All of our facilities are open for business,” James Dwyer, a senior civilian with Army Materiel Command, told attendees.
“Why should you depreciate it, write it off, and make your stockholders buy it, when we’ve already got it and they’re there for partnering?” Dwyer said, reported Breaking Defense.
James Rogers, who manages Army programs for Lockheed Martin, concurred, noting that because the industrial base has surged two-fold and even more in some cases since 9/11, “that we are way over capacity in our depots and our industrial base.”
“We have to partner,” Rogers said.
With Congress likely to keep BRAC off limits, Vickie Plunkett, an aide with the House Armed Services Committee, broached another method for dealing with excess capacity — 10 U.S.C. Sec. 2687, the statute DOD must follow to close or realign bases when a BRAC round is not in force.
Plunkett noted that the statute requires DOD only to provide Congress 60 days to review proposed realignments that exceed certain personnel thresholds. DOD would be able to go ahead if Congress fails to act to stop the move.
“Take your chances,” she joked, “because it’s going to require us to get our act together to stop it.”