BRAC 2005: Closings, Realignments to Reshape Infrastructure
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May 13, 2005 The Defense Department has recommended closing 33 major bases and realigning 29 others as part of a comprehensive reshaping of the military infrastructure through the base realignment and closure process.
Michael Wynne, defense undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics, announced Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's closure and realignment recommendations at a Pentagon news conference today.
The recommendations now go to the BRAC Commission chaired by former Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony J. Principi. The commission will start hearings on the specific recommendations May 16.
If adopted, the recommendations would give DoD a net savings of almost $50 billion over 20 years, officials said. Annual savings are pegged at $5.5 billion a year after that.
Fourteen major Army bases are recommended for closure, including Forts Gillem and McPherson in Atlanta; Fort Monroe, Va.; Fort Monmouth, N.J.; and the Lone Star Army Ammunition Plant and Red River Army Depot in Texas.
Nine major Navy bases will close, including Submarine Base, New London, Conn.; Willow Grove Naval Air Station, Pa.; Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Maine; Naval Station Pascagoula, Miss.; and Naval Air Station Atlanta.
Ten major Air Force installations are closing, including Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D.; Onizuka Air Force Station, Calif.; Cannon Air Force Base, N.M.; Otis Air National Guard Base, Mass.; and Brooks City Base, Texas.
DoD defines major realignments as installations losing at least 400 people. The five major Army realignments are Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington; the Rock Island Arsenal, Ill.; Fort Knox, Ky.; and Fort Eustis, Va.; and the Army Reserve Personnel Center in St. Louis.
Eleven Navy realignments include Naval Station Great Lakes, Ill.; Naval Station San Diego; and naval air stations in Brunswick, Maine, Corpus Christi, Texas, and Pensacola, Fla. The Marine Corps Logistics Base in Barstow, Calif., also will realign, as will the naval medical centers in Portsmouth, Va., and San Diego.
Ten major Air Force realignments include Eielson and Elmendorf Air Force bases, both in Alaska; Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.; Lackland and Sheppard Air Force bases, Texas; and McChord Air Force Base, Wash.
DoD agencies in leased spaces throughout the National Capital Area and Defense Finance and Accounting Service offices in Cleveland and in Arlington, Va., face major realignment actions as well.
Forty-nine installations are gaining more than 400 personnel. The Army made provision for units reassigned from Europe and the Pacific. The major gainers in the Army are Fort Belvoir, Va.; Fort Jackson, S.C.; Fort Sam Houston, Texas; Fort Sill, Okla.; Fort Benning, Ga.; and Fort Bragg, N.C.
Navy gainers include Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla.; Naval Station Norfolk, Va.; Naval Station Newport, R.I.; Marine Corps Logistics Base Quantico, Va.; and Naval Station Bremerton, Wash.
Air Force gainers include Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark.; Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.; Scott Air Force Base, Ill.; Andrews Air Force Base, Md.; and Shaw Air Force Base, S.C.
The bases themselves are only part of the story. This BRAC process had seven joint cross-service groups to examine common business processes in education and training; headquarters and support; technical; industrial; supply and storage; intelligence; and medical.
Wynne said jointness - services working together -- was key to creating military value, and military value was the most important consideration as the BRAC process progressed.
"These joint cross-service groups were key to making this jointness a reality in this process," Wynne said. "They each were chaired by a senior executive or flag officer, with representation from each of the military services, from the Joint Staff and from the relevant defense agencies involved."
More than half of the future annual savings $2.9 billion of the estimated $5.5 billion is generated from the joint cross-service groups, officials said.