March 3, 2015 – Association of Defense Communities
Jack Reed (D-R.I.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, indicated at a hearing Tuesday that he may support another round of base closures.
“I do believe that we need to consider efforts to allow the Defense Department to shed what may be as much as 25 percent in excess infrastructure it does not necessarily need, and use these resources for the best and higher priorities,” Reed said in his opening statement.
The hearing on President Obama’s fiscal 2016 budget request featured Ashton Carter’s first opportunity to testify on Capitol Hill as defense secretary.
When asked by Mike Lee (R-Utah) how the department planned to improve the BRAC process to avoid the cost overruns experienced in the last round, Carter contrasted the 2005 round with previous BRACs.
“We’re looking for the kinds of BRAC that occurred in the 1990s, where true savings occurred,” Carter responded.
During the 2005 round, DOD decided to modernize the facilities at many installations at the same time it was consolidating others. “And that created far fewer savings than a pure BRAC round would,” Carter said.
“We are seeking BRAC authority. I know that that’s not an easy thing to get, but we simply have to reduce tail or we have to take it out of tooth, and I don’t think anybody wants that,” he said.
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