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BRAC 2005

On May 13, 2005, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld announced that Department of Defense’s recommendations to close or realign military facilities in the United States.

These recommendations called for closing 33 major military bases in the United States. In addition to calling for realigning an additional 29 major military bases, the Pentagon's proposal called for the closure or realignment of another 775 smaller military locations.

DoD's recommendations called for 176 Army Reserve facilities to be closed while also building 125 new multi-component Armed Forces Reserve Centers distributed throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.  Also affected by the recommendations would be 211 Army National Guard facilities which would be closed with their tenants and units relocated into the 125 new Armed Forces Reserve Centers.

These steps, if fully implemented, would in turn generate an estimated net savings of just under $49 billion over the following two decades. Accoding to DOD, when combined with the anticipated savings from overseas basing realignments around the world, the projected net savings increases to $64.2 billion. By comparison, in 2005, the Department of Defense's budget topped 400 billion dollars.

Recommendations for the 2005 round of BRAC were developed in a process that began in 2001, with the initiation of a review of how U.S. forces were arrayed overseas. Prospective changes to the department’s global posture were fed into the analysis and recommendations.

The department’s BRAC recommendations were developed by the military services and seven joint cross-service groups in consultation with the combatant commanders. Each recommendation was created under the procedures established in the Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990, as amended. The BRAC analysis started with the 20-Year Force Structure Plan and the department’s inventory of facilities, and then applied BRAC selection criteria that had been published early in 2004.

These criteria give paramount importance to an installation’s military value. Other considerations included costs of potential savings, and economic and environmental impacts of potential changes. The BRAC analysis used data that was certified accurate in a process monitored by the Government Accountability Office and the department’s inspection and audit agencies.

Following the announcement, the department’s recommendations were to then be reviewed by the BRAC Commission, which would in turn seek comments from potentially affected communities, as 29,000 military and civilian jobs could possibly be lost as a result. The Pentagon announcement of base closings around the United States was met with worry in many communities where military installations make a major contribution to the local economy and there are likely to be many political battles over the list in the months ahead. The closing list contained bad news for some communities, but good news for others.

As it has in the past four BRAC rounds, the department would assist affected communities in a variety of ways. Department of Defense programs include personnel transition and job training assistance, local reuse planning grants, and streamlined property disposal. The department will join with other federal agencies to offer additional assistance to affected communities.

Once the commission has completed its review, its recommendations are to be presented to the President for approval and eventual submition to the Congress for review and appropriate action.

The entire process is expected to be completed by the end of 2005.

The Department of Defense's recommendations also called for an investment of $2.4 billion in medical activities that were expected to result in over $5 billion dollars in reduced spending over the following 20 years, and over $400 million in ongoing annual savings. The plan would call for close to $1 billion to be invested in the National Capital Region to create the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, a jointly-staffed facility, on the National Naval Medical Center campus, while also constructing a new 165-bed community hospital at Fort Belvoir, VA. Another recommendation called for creating a new joint center for medical enlisted training at Fort Sam Houston, TX, and six new joint centers of excellence in biomedical research. The medical center at Andrews Air Force Base would, under the plan, be converted to a clinic with an ambulatory surgery center.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:43:29 ZULU