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Defense Officials to Make More BRAC Data Available

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 27, 2005 – Defense officials are preparing to make more data available early next week regarding the Defense Department's base realignment and closure recommendations.

According to senior Pentagon officials, the department will submit the minutes reflecting its deliberative record and the extensive volume of data underpinning its recommendations to the BRAC Commission and Congress.

On May 13, defense officials released a list of the recommended closures and realignments, a summary of the selection process and a justification for each recommendation. To further support the commission and the public's understanding, the department also provided the classified force-structure plan, reports by the military departments and the joint cross-service groups, and other related documents.

At present, the digital database of supplementary data is temporarily classified Secret, but defense officials are working to declassify substantial portions of it.

The department intends to declassify as much of it as possible and to make it available to the public through the BRAC Commission, Acting Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England stated in a letter today to the Senate Armed Services Committee. The full volume of data made available will be substantially greater than was made available in prior BRAC rounds, England noted.

By the evening of May 31, the BRAC Commission, members of Congress and their staff with Secret clearances will have access to the entire digital database accessible on computers in a secure reading room in Crystal City, Arlington, Va., near BRAC Commission offices. A similar secure reading room will be established on Capitol Hill, officials said.

Defense officials will expedite interim Secret clearances as required for commission and congressional staff.

Defense officials plan to complete the security review of the supplemental data by June 4, 2005, and all unclassified portions of the database will be made available to the public through the commission, defense officials said.

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