WASHINGTON, Sept. 2, 2015 —
Defense Department assessment team is surveying Joint Base Charleston’s Navy
Consolidated Brig in South Carolina as a potential prison to house detainees after
the wartime prison at Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, closes, Pentagon
spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters today.
directed by Defense Secretary Ash Carter, a DoD assessment team is working with
prison staffs to determine the costs of housing detainees, in addition to assessing
the facilities for force protection, troop housing,
security, transportation, information security, contracting and other operational
issues, Davis said.
The facilities also are assessed for
their ability to serve as a military commissions site, he added.
The Charleston visit is the second
survey following the assessment at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, Davis said.
While Fort Leavenworth and Charleston
are the only military facilities the team has visited so far, said Davis,
noting other military sites could not be ruled out.
“But those are the only two we’re
planning on now,” he added.
Sites to be Surveyed
“We want to emphasize no facilities
have been selected yet,” Davis said, adding it’s likely that non-DoD detention facilities
also will be considered.
“We do not know what those [non-DoD
sites] are yet,” he said.
DoD is working closely with interagency
partners to determine which non-DoD facilities could be assessed in the near
future, he added.
While no deadline exists for the
assessments, Davis said DoD’s intent is get the work done very quickly, based
on President Barack Obama’s commitment to closing the wartime prison before the
end of his presidency.
“There is a lot of work to be done,” Davis
“Congress wants specific cost
information included … It isn’t just a matter of changing legislation to allow
detainees to be brought to the United States,” he said, adding that DoD wants
to provide Congress with “a full picture” of the surveys.
In an Aug. 20 briefing with reporters,
Carter said he directed assessment teams to perform the facility surveys so that
DoD, the White House and Congress can “chart a responsible way forward and a
plan, so that we can close the detention facility at Guantanamo and close this
chapter in our history once and for all.”
Moon Cronk on Twitter: @MoonCronkDoD)