Introduction - US Military Facilities
The New York Times reported 24 December 2019 that US Defense Secretary Mark Esper was weighing proposals to move away from missions to uproot counterterrorism in distant places unless they're deemed a direct threat to the US on its own soil. Esper had stated earlier that the US had begun a review process of missions including those targeting terrorist groups operating in West Africa found that none of the terrorist groups met the heightened assessment standard. The primary mission to deploy troops in Africa was to train and assist local security forces to suppress Islamist groups like Boko Haram and derivatives of Al Qaeda and the Islamic State. Esper is believed to have ordered a withdrawal plan of troops from West African until January as well as an alternative for redeploying the troops. The Pentagon's new initiative could also be applied in South America and the Middle East including Iraq and Afghanistan. The number of US troops in Iraq could be reduced to 2,500 in the coming months. Esper had already expressed intentions to reduce about four-thousand troops from the current 13-thousand deployed to Afghanistan.
In late 2015 the Pentagon proposed a new plan to the White House for a string of military bases in Africa, Southwest Asia and the Middle East. The new architecture of bases would consist of four “hubs” — including expanding existing bases in Djibouti and Afghanistan — and smaller “spokes,” more basic installations in countries that could include Niger and Cameroon, where the United States carried out unarmed surveillance drone missions. The hubs would range in size from about 500 American troops to 5,000 personnel. The plan called for a hub in the Middle East, possibly Erbil, in northern Iraq.
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter stated 29 October 2015 that "... building the structure of a new, transregional strategy for countering terrorism over the long term. This will be based on infrastructure we’ve already established in Afghanistan, the Levant, East Africa, and Southern Europe. Because we cannot predict the future, these regional nodes – from Morón, Spain to Jalalabad, Afghanistan – will provide forward presence to respond to a range of crises, terrorist and other kinds. These will enable unilateral crisis response, counter-terror operations, or strikes on high-value targets. But they’re about more – they’ll also allow us to enable partners to respond to a range of challenges. To pre-position equipment for ourselves and our partners. And to provide important opportunities to innovate, to develop new command-and-control structure, new ways to manage the force, new capabilities, and new operational concepts."
The United States military manages approximately 24 million acres of federal land, and the US Army manages about half of this total. Much of this land is located in sensitive wetlands along valuable coastlines, some of the most ecologically significant areas in the world.
Defense Reform Initiative Directive #49 directed the Military Departments to privatize all utility systems, except where needed for unique security reasons or when privatization is uneconomical. Privatization is described as the total divesture of a utility system through the transfer and conveyance of the installation's utility infrastructure assets in conjunction with and for the purpose of the conveyee providing utility distribution services on a long-term basis.
The Overseas Military Facility and Range Structure Review Act of 2003 established the Commission on the Review of the Overseas Military Facility and Range Structure of the United States to: (1) study matters relating to the military facility and range structure of the United States overseas; and (2) report review results to the President and Congress, including a proposal for an overseas basing strategy to meet current and future DOD mission requirements.
Based on the Secretary's guidance in his March 20, 2003, memorandum, "Integrated Global Presence and Basing Strategy," the Department is currently developing a long-term, comprehensive and integrated overseas strategy. The Department anticipates that decisions regarding the closure of overseas installations, if warranted, will be developed after a thorough review of this strategy later this year. This Global Posture effort will inform the BRAC process as the statutory requirement for publishing BRAC recommendations in May 2005 will accommodate decisions regarding overseas basing generated by the effort that is now underway.
Types of Facilities
The term `military installation' means a base, camp, post, station, yard, center, homeport facility or any ship, or any other activity under under the jurisdiction of a department, agency, or other instrumentality of the Department of Defense, including a leased facility, except that such term shall not include any facility used primarily for civil works, rivers and harbor projects, or flood control projects. An installation is a grouping of facilities, located in the same vicinity, which support the same Air Force operations. Installations may be further defined as:
Installation Complex -- A combination of land and facilities comprised of a main installation and its noncontiguous properties (ranges, auxiliary air fields, annexes and/or missile fields) which provide direct support to or are supported by that installation. Installation complexes may comprise two or more properties, e.g., a major installation, a minor installation, or a support site, each with its associated annex(es) or support property(ies). See also major installation, minor installation, support site.
Major Installation -- A self-supporting center of operations for actions of importance to Air Force combat, combat support, or training. A Main Operating Bases (MOB) is operated by an active, Reserve, or Guard unit of group size or larger with all land, facilities and organizational support needed to accomplish the unit mission. It must have real property accountability through ownership, lease, permit, or other written agreement for all real estate and facilities. Agreements with foreign governments which give the Air Force jurisdiction over real property meet this requirement. Shared use agreements (as opposed to joint use agreements where the Air Force owns the runway) do not meet the criteria for a major installation. This category includes Air Force bases, air bases, Air Reserve bases, and Air Guard bases. Any Active Army installation which has 5000 or more US service members, US DoD civilian employees, and/or other tenants authorized as reported in the Army Stationing and Installation Plan (ASIP). Homeport locations of the operating forces with a minimum assigned strength (or equivalent) of a battlegroup, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON), Submarine Squadron (SUBRON), Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON), or six or more fleet air or land-based squadrons, and activities that provide depot-level maintenance to the operating forces.
Minor Installation -- A facility operated by an active, Reserve, or Guard unit of at least squadron size that does not otherwise satisfy all the criteria for a major installation. This category includes Air Force stations, air stations, Air Reserve stations, and Air Guard stations. Examples of minor installations are active, Reserve and Guard flying operations that are located at civilian-owned airports. Any Active Army installation not categorized as Major which has between 1000 and 5000 US service members, US DoD civilian employees, and/or other tenants* as reported in the ASIP; or 300 or more US DoD civilian employees authorized as reported in the ASIP. RDT&E activities, training activities, hospitals, and homeport locations of the operating forces with a lesser assigned strength than that of a major activity.
Support Site -- A facility operated by active, Reserve, or Guard unit that provides general support to the Air Force mission and does not satisfy the criteria for a major or minor installation. Examples of support sites are missile tracking sites, radar bomb scoring sites, Air Force-owned, contractor-operated plants, radio relay sites, etc. Annexes, minimally manned/unmanned installation/site with little or no real property, and leased office space. Examples are: units that are located on installations belonging to other Services, Maxwell Gunter Annex, radio relay sites, radio beacon sites, remote tracking sites, radar sites, and NAVAID sites.
Colocated Operating Base (COB): A host nation base containing US owned facilities. These facilities are used and/or maintained by host nation personnel as stipulated by contract.
Geographically Separated Unit (GSU): A location where permanently assigned US Air Forces in Europe personnel are not collocated with a US Air Forces in Europe Main Operating Base. Does not include contingency locations.
A Main Operating Base (MOB) is an enduring strategic asset established in friendly territory with permanently stationed combat forces, command and control structures, and family support facilities. MOBs serve as the anchor points for throughput, training, engagement, and US commitment to NATO. MOBs have: robust infrastructure; strategic access; established Command and Control; Forward Operating Sites and Cooperative Security Location support capability; and enduring family support facilities. These are already in existence.
A Forward Operating Site (FOS) is an expandable host-nation "warm site" with a limited U.S. military support presence and possibly prepositioned equipment. It can host rotational forces and be a focus for bilateral and regional training. These sites will be tailored to meet anticipated requirements and can be used for an extended time period. Backup support by a MOB may be required.
A Forward Support Location (FSL) is a support facility outside of CONUS but not (necessarily) in a crisis area. FSLs can be depots for US war reserve materiel (WRM) storage, for repair of selected avionics or engines, a transportation hub, or a combination thereof. An FSL could be manned permanently by U.S. military or host-nation nationals, or simply be a warehouse operation until activated. The exact capability of an FSL will be deter-mined by the forces it will potentially support and by the risks and costs of positioning specific capabilities at its location.
A Forward Support Location (FSL) Option consists of a theater where multiple squadrons at various locations are supported by a single Consolidated Support (or Queen Bee) activity called a Forward Support Location (FSL). The model computes stock both at the aircraft locations (called Forward Operating Locations-FOLs) and at the FSL.This option properly aggregates the demand at the FSL and estimates the total spares requirements based upon the NSN's [National Stock Number's] commonality. There may be significant benefits, namely savings in cost and airlift requirement, that could be achieved through the implementation of the "pipeline on the fly" technique. In fact, the unique adaptation of the FSL Option created during this research pointed to the possibility that the Air Force could save over 80 percent in both spares cost and cargo movement needs when the "pipeline on the fly" approach. No component repair is performed at the FOLs; all parts are immediately retrograded back to the FSL where they are either repaired or declared Not Repairable This Station (NRTS) and sent back to the Depot. Only LRUs are repaired at the FSL; all SRUs are sent to the depot for repair (100% NRTS).
A Cooperative Security Location (CSL) is a host-nation facility with little or no permanent U.S. presence. CSLs will require periodic service, contractor and/or host nation support. CSLs provide contingency access and are a focal point for security cooperation activities. They may contain propositioned equipment. CSLs are: rapidly scalable and located for tactical use, expandable to become a FOS, forward and expeditionary. They will have no family support system.
A Preposition Site (PS), by definition, is a secure site containing prepositioned war reserve materiel (Combat, Combat Support, Combat Service Support), tailored and strategically positioned to enable rotational and expeditionary forces. They may be collocated with a MOB or FOS. PSs are usually maintained by contractor support and may be sea based. They are an important component to our transformation efforts.
En Route Infrastructure (ERI), is a strategically located, enduring asset with infrastructure that provides the ability to rapidly expand, project and sustain military power during times of crises and contingencies. ERI bases serve as anchor points for throughput, training, engagement and U.S. commitment. They may also be a MOB or FOS.
Aerial Port of Debarkation (APOD) operations, by their very nature, cross inter-Service boundaries. The arrival and departure data for all unit equipment, personnel, and sustainment cargo moving to and from the APOD must be captured in AISs. There are three primary organizations operating at the APOD that may possess AIT enabling tools; Air Mobility Command's Tanker Airlift Control Element (TALCE), the Army Port Movement Control Team (also referred to as an Air Terminal Movement Control Team, [ATMCT]), and the Army Arrival Airfield Control Group (AACG). Passengers arriving at an APOD may immediately board ground transportation for movement to the theater staging base, or they may process through a holding area before moving into the theater. Unit equipment moving inland from the APOD flows through a holding area and a marshaling area (if established) before movement to theater staging bases. The equipment holding area is usually located in close proximity to the aircraft unloading location. The holding area may be separated into several distinct physical locations (e.g., helicopter assembly area, equipment-holding location, pallet holding/reconfiguration area).
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