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April 22, 2015 – Association of Defense Communities

Citing its concern about the Pentagon’s repeated calls for a new BRAC round, the House Appropriations Committee directs DOD to provide a comprehensive assessment of its infrastructure needs.

“Though the committee is not endorsing or precluding another BRAC round, it is interested in more detailed information that would help lead Congress to make an informed decision on that question,” states the committee report accompanying the fiscal 2016 military construction-veterans affairs spending measure that was released Tuesday.

The committee requests DOD provide by Dec. 31, 2015, a comprehensive inventory of military installations as well as:

  • a description of the infrastructure necessary to support ongoing defense activities;
  • a discussion of categories of excess infrastructure and infrastructure capacity, and “the secretary’s targets for the reduction of such excess capacity”;
  • an assessment of the excess infrastructure and the value of retaining certain excess infrastructure to support surge or reversibility requirements; and
  • an analysis of the economic impact of the closure or realignment of installations to reduce excess infrastructure.

To determine the extent of excess capacity, the department should consider:

  • the anticipated continuing need for and availability of installations outside the United States, along with the potential for future restrictions on their use; and
  • any efficiencies that may be gained from joint tenancy by more than one branch at an installation or by reorganizing two or more installations into a single facility.

The analysis would require a certification from the defense secretary regarding the need for the closure or realignment of installations. The committee also asks the secretary to certify that “every recommendation for closure or realignment of military installations in a round of closures and realignments will result in annual net savings for each of the military departments within six years” after a new round begins.

The committee’s request mirrors very closely language in the House version of the FY 2015 defense authorization bill. That provision, which was viewed as a possible first step toward congressional approval of the department’s request for a new BRAC round, was struck from the compromise version of the policy bill, however.

In this case, the request for an assessment of DOD’s infrastructure needs may not be as significant since the Appropriations Committee is not responsible for authorizing a BRAC round, but it seems to signal that the committee’s military construction-veterans affairs panel believes a strong case could be made for a future round.

The committee report for the milcon spending bill can be found on its website.

 

The information above is for general awareness only and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Economic Adjustment or the Department of Defense as a whole.

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