DoD Expects to Deliver Base Closure Legislation Soon
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, July 27, 2001 DoD expects to have legislation authorizing more rounds of U.S. base closures to Congress before their August recess, DoD officials said.
Congress leaves Aug. 4 and reconvenes after Labor Day.
The legislation will be based on past laws governing the process, Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. Craig Quigley said during a July 26 news conference. However, there will be changes.
"I think you will not see a complete replacement of the existing legislation," Quigley said. "But by the same token, we are looking to ensure that the existing legislation is best-suited to align infrastructure with the force structure as we best see it."
Under existing Base Realignment and Closure laws, a commission chooses the installations that will be closed or realigned. The president can accept or reject the entire list. Congress then must accept the list or reject it.
Quigley said there is no question that DoD has more infrastructure -- up to 25 percent more, according to some figures -- than it needs to support current force structure.
"(Infrastructure) needs to be no more, no less than you need to support that force structure," he said.
Former Defense Secretary William S. Cohen tried to get Congress to agree to additional rounds of base closures, but was unsuccessful. The last round of base closures was in 1995. DoD officials forecast that the three rounds of closures since 1988 would generate $25 billion in savings through fiscal 2003.