Fort Buchanan is the Army's only active Installation in Puerto Rico and the Antilles. Located in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, Fort Buchanan is a primary site of military services in Puerto Rico, as well as educational, recreational, community and commercial programs in support of military family members (active, reserve and retired) and the federal civilian communities. Monthly, it supports an average customer base of approximately 74,815. The Installation also supports some 32 federal agencies stationed in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Fort Buchanan's workforce is a mix of military and civilian employees, augmented and supported by numerous volunteers.
Fort Buchanan is located on about 700 acres within the city limits of San Juan. Once known as Fort Miles, the post was re-designated as Fort Buchanan in 1940, when it hosted Antilles Command, a MACOM formed during the pre-World War II buildup. Brigadier General James A. Buchanan was the first commander of the Puerto Rican Regiment, US volunteers, which was formed in 1900. Antilles Command was deactivated in 1966.
After defending the Panama Canal Zone during World War I, the regiment was officially designated as the 65th Infantry Regiment in 1920. In 1923, to provide the regiment with a training area, a tract of 300 acres on the south shore of San Juan Bay was obtained. The site, known then as Camp Buchanan, served as a target range and maneuver area for the Army and National Guard troops from 1923 through 1939. From 1966 through 1971, the Installation came under Navy control, and subsequently turned to the Army. In 1973, Fort Buchanan came under direct control of HQ FORSCOM. Since 1977, Fort Buchanan is part of Southcom under USARSO.
The post has a renovated headquarters building, revamped soldiers' barracks, and a new guesthouse for visitors. The post is slated to provide additional improved facilities for soldiers and their families, including a new grade school.
Secretary of Defense Recommendation: Close the US Army Reserve Center 1st Lieutenant Paul Lavergne, Bayamon, PR, and relocate the 973rd Combat Support (CS) Company into a new Armed Forces Reserve Center on United States Army Reserve property in Ceiba, PR, and relocate all other units into a new Armed Forces Reserve Center (AFRC) on Fort Buchanan, PR. Realign the US Army Reserve Center Captain E. Rubio Junior, Puerto Nuevo, PR, by relocating the 807th Signal Company into a new Armed Forces Reserve Center on Fort Buchanan, PR. The new AFRC on Fort Buchanan, PR, shall have the capability to accommodate units from the Puerto Rico Army Guard San Juan Readiness Center, San Juan, PR, if Puerto Rico decides to relocate those National Guard units. The new AFRC facility in Ceiba, PR, shall have the capability to accommodate Puerto Rico National Guard units from the following PRARNG Readiness Centers: Humacao, Juncos, and Ceiba, PR, if Puerto Rico decides to relocate those National Guard units.
Secretary of Defense Justification: This recommendation transforms Reserve Component facilities throughout Puerto Rico. The implementation of this recommendation will enhance military value, improve homeland defense capability, greatly improve training and deployment capability, create significant efficiencies and cost savings, and is consistent with the Army's force structure plans and Army transformational objectives.
This recommendation is the result of a state-wide analysis of Reserve Component installations and facilities conducted by a team of functional experts from Headquarters, Department of the Army, the Office of the State Adjutant General, and the Army Reserve Regional Readiness Command.
This recommendation closes one and realigns four US Army Reserve Centers throughout Puerto Rico and constructs four multicomponent, multifunctional Armed Forces Reserve Centers capable of accommodating National Guard and Reserve units. This recommendation reduces the number of separate DoD installations by relocating to an existing base. This recommendation reduces military manpower and associated costs for maintaining existing facilities by collapsing five geographically separated facilities into three modern Armed Forces Reserve Centers. These joint facilities will significantly reduce operating costs and create improved business processes. The Department understands that Puerto Rico will close PRARNG Readiness Centers: Humacao, Juncos, Ceiba, and Mayaguez, PR. The Armed Forces Reserve Centers will have the capability to accommodate these units if the state decides to relocate the units from these closed facilities into the new AFRCs.
This recommendation provides the opportunity for other Local, State, or Federal organizations to partner with the Reserve Components to enhance homeland security and homeland defense at a reduced cost to those agencies.
Although not captured in the COBRA analysis, this recommendation, combined with the additional recommendations for the Reserve Component Transformation in Puerto Rico, avoids an estimated $36.4M in mission facility renovation costs and procurement avoidances associated with meeting AT/FP construction standards and altering existing facilities to meet unit training and communications requirements. Consideration of these avoided costs would reduce costs and increase the net savings to the Department of Defense in the 6-year BRAC implementation period and in the 20-year period used to calculate NPV.
Community Concerns: There were no formal expressions from the community.
Commission Findings: The Commission found no reason to disagree with the recommendation of the Secretary of Defense. In addition, the Commission notes that the Army's process was well thought-out and inclusive of the leadership of the Reserve Components and the State.
Commission Recommendations: The Commission found the Secretary's recommendation consistent with the final selection criteria and force structure plan. Therefore, the Commission approved the recommendation of the Secretary.
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