Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
OEA is a DoD field activity within the Office of the Secretary of Defense. OEA’s mission is to provide transitional assistance and guidance to communities affected by changes in Defense spending, including military base closures, major personnel reductions from base realignments or defense contractor layoffs, and a major influx of DoD personnel to a base.
OEA strives to help communities help themselves. To that end, OEA and its assigned Project Managers oversee a program of technical and financial resources working directly with the involved DoD components and local, State, and Federal Agency representatives. This collaborative effort often results in: community-based adjustment strategies; coordinated public-private investments that generate new job opportunities to alleviate the adverse job loss impacts; or enhanced local capacities to sustain new economic activity spurred by the influx of personnel to a military facility.
Requests for OEA assistance can be made by, or on behalf of, Members of Congress or State and/or local elected officials through correspondence to the Director, Office of Economic Adjustment, Patrick J. O’Brien. Up-to-date information on OEA programs and available assistance can be found here on this site under Assistance Programs.
The primary mission of the Department of Defense is to defend the United States. Thus, the Department relies heavily on other Federal agencies to assist communities that need help. For instance, the redevelopment of former military installations often requires the coordination of numerous Federal and State agencies, including technical and financial assistance and discounted property conveyances for public purposes. Coordination among agencies ensures that assistance provided meets the needs of individual communities.
OEA has provided $280 Million in financial assistance over the previous four rounds of BRAC activity. Often, OEA funding is used to prepare a local economic recovery strategy that serves as a blueprint for other Federal, State and local funding. The leading Federal agency assistance partners included the Federal Aviation Administration ($760 Million), the Economic Development Administration ($611 Million), and the Department of Labor ($223 Million) that collectively provided $1.6 Billion in coordinated grant assistance during the last four rounds of the Department’s BRAC activities.
Interagency coordination has also facilitated the civilian reuse of former military installations to benefit the public through property transfers from the Department of Defense to other Federal agencies, known as Fed-to-Fed transfers. Additionally Federal agency-sponsored public benefit conveyances, such as schools, parks, airports, etc.; community adjustment to the reduction of school impact aid; review of reuse plans for protection of the interests of homeless-assistance providers; environmental regulatory approvals; surplus property screening; property transfers to other Federal entities; historic property and natural resource agreements; joint- use agreements; and alternative property disposal guidance have been used to implement community adjustment strategies.
The Economic Adjustment Committee (EAC) coordinates Federal interagency and intergovernmental assistance to support the Defense Economic Adjustment Program and help communities respond to economic impacts caused by significant Defense program changes, including BRAC. The EAC is comprised of 22 key Federal Departments and Agencies, including those with specific programs for technical and financial assistance to assist communities, businesses, and/or workers adversely impacted by BRAC. It is managed by the Office of Economic Adjustment.
DoD has a long and successful history assisting its civilian workers impacted by base closure using a number of programs that facilitate placement, training, retraining, and transition. Since 1989, the Department has reduced its civilian workforce by 428,400 with less than 10% involuntary separations. Through DoD’s Priority Placement Program (PPP), the centerpiece of DoD’s Civilian Assistance Re-employment (C.A.R.E.) programs, DoD employees are given priority placement at other DoD facilities. This DoD program and others are closely linked with Department of Labor (DoL) programs and staff expertise for worker retraining and placement implemented at the local level. For more information about DoD’s C.A.R.E programs visit DoD Civilian Personnel Management Service and DoL Employment and Training Administration.