Secretary of Defense Recommendation: In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to realign Fort Hood, TX, by relocating a Brigade Combat Team (BCT) and Unit of Employment (UEx) Headquarters to Fort Carson, CO.
Additionally, DoD recommended to realign Fort Hood, TX, by relocating maneuver battalions, a support battalion, and aviation units to Fort Bliss, TX.
Secretary of Defense Justification: This recommendation would ensure that Army BCTs and support units would be located at installations capable of training modular formations, both mounted and dismounted, at home station with sufficient land and facilities to test, simulate, or fire all organic weapon systems.
This recommendation enhances the military value of the installations and the home station training and readiness of the units at the installations by relocating units to installations that can best support the training and maneuver requirements associated with the Army's transformation. This recommendation relocates to Fort Carson, CO, a Heavy BCT that will be temporarily stationed at Fort Hood in FY06, and a Unit of Employment Headquarters. The Army is temporarily stationing this BCT to Fort Hood in FY06 due to operational necessity and to support current operational deployments in support of the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). However, based on the BRAC analysis, Fort Hood does not have sufficient facilities and available maneuver training acreage and ranges to support six permanent heavy BCTs and numerous other operational units stationed there. Fort Carson has sufficient capacity to support these units. The Army previously obtained approval from the Secretary of Defense to temporarily station a third BCT at Fort Carson in FY05. Due to Fort Carson's capacity, the BRAC analysis indicates that the Army should permanently station this third BCT at Fort Carson.
This relocation would never pay back because it involves the relocation of a newly activated unit. No permanent facilities existed to support the unit.
The total estimated one-time cost to the Department of Defense to implement this recommendation was $435.8M. The net of all costs and savings to the Department of Defense during the implementation period would be a cost of $579.5M. Annual recurring costs to the Department after implementation would be $45.3M. This recommendation would never pay back. The net present value of the costs and savings to the Department over 20 years would be a cost of $980.4M.
Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation could result in a maximum potential increase of 8,167 jobs (4,945 direct and 3,222 indirect jobs) over the 2006 - 2011 period in the Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood, TX metropolitan area, which would be 4.4 percent of economic area employment.
DoD's review of community infrastructure attributes revealed no significant issues regarding the ability of the community to support forces, missions, and personnel. When moving activities from Fort Hood to Fort Carson, one attribute would improve (Population Center) and one (Education) would not be as robust. As a result of the relocation, tribal consultations might be required.
DoD also recommended realigning Fort Hood, TX by relocating maneuver battalions, a support battalion, and aviation units to Fort Bliss, TX. The Army obtained approval to temporarily station a BCT at Fort Hood in 2005 and another BCT at Fort Bliss in 2006. This recommendation would validate the stationing of that BCT at Fort Bliss and would relocate two maneuver battalions, an armored reconnaissance squadron and a support battalion from Fort Hood to support the activation at Fort Bliss. Relocating these battalions would provide the assets necessary to accomplish the activation. Relocating aviation units from Fort Hood would support the activation of a multi-functional aviation brigade. Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 8,522 jobs (5,136 direct and 3,386 indirect jobs) over the 2006 – 2011 period in the Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood Metropolitan Statistical Area, which would be 4.5 percent of economic region of influence employment. When moving activities from Fort Hood to Fort Bliss, DoD estimated that four attributes would improve (Housing, Medical Health, Safety, and Population Center) and one (Employment) would not be as robust.
Community Concerns: The community argued that realignment of Fort Hood would result in a loss of personnel due to the relocation of approximately 4,100 soldiers to Fort Carson and almost 5,000 personnel to Fort Bliss, based on 2005 data, rather than the 2003 certified data provided to the Commission. The local community has embraced the newly activated BCT and did not consider this unit as temporarily stationed at Fort Hood. They asserted soldiers have already purchased homes and integrated into the community. The community fears housing prices will drop and soldiers forced to sell homes will experience significant financial losses. Also, the community stated that it responded to the so-called temporary increase in soldiers with increased housing, police, fire and municipal services. They argued that realigning Fort Hood, leaving only five Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs) permanently stationed there, would forego important existing training facilities and create 15 percent excess capacity. The community proposed retention of 6 BCTs at Fort Hood, believing the base has the capacity to train and support up to 50,000 soldiers and their families.
Commission Findings: The Commission's review and analysis found that moving a Brigade Combat Team (BCT) and Unit of Employment (UEx) Headquarters to Fort Carson would enhance military value and improve future mission capabilities. Fort Hood is a model installation for the Army in terms of its infrastructure, ranges, and power projection capabilities, and its very high overall quantitative military value score reflects those favorable installation characteristics. However, Fort Hood's constraining variable is maneuver acres and, more specifically, its contiguous maneuver acres. The Commission's independent and objective analysis showed that, with or without including Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site in the accounting of acreage, Fort Carson still has more contiguous maneuver acres per brigade combat team than Fort Hood. The Commission views the UEx headquarters relocation to Fort Carson, CO, as important to provide the four planned BCTs with an appropriate-level command and control headquarters. The Commission found in favor of the overall recommendation as providing the necessary balance to the force structure. The Commission took community concerns into account but found them to be offset by the increased military value of DoD's recommendation.
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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