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[Federal Register: February 12, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 29)]
[Notices]               
[Page 6948-6952]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr12fe04-33]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Office of the Secretary

 
Department of Defense Selection Criteria for Closing and 
Realigning Military Installations Inside the United States

AGENCY: Department of Defense (DoD).

ACTION: Final selection criteria.

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SUMMARY: The Secretary of Defense, in accordance with section 2913(a) 
of the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990, Public Law 
101-510, as amended, 10 U.S.C. 2687 note, is required to publish the 
final selection criteria to be used by the Department of Defense in 
making recommendations for the closure or realignment of military 
installations inside the United States.

EFFECTIVE DATE: February 12, 2004.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Mike McAndrew, Base Realignment 
and Closure Office, ODUSD(I&E), (703) 614-5356.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

A. Final Selection Criteria

    The final criteria to be used by the Department of Defense to make 
recommendations for the closure or realignment of military 
installations inside the United States under the Defense Base Closure 
and Realignment Act of 1990, Public Law 101-510, as amended, 10 U.S.C. 
2687 note, are as follows:
    In selecting military installations for closure or realignment, the 
Department of Defense, giving priority consideration to military value 
(the first four criteria below), will consider:

Military Value

    1. The current and future mission capabilities and the impact on 
operational readiness of the Department of Defense's total force, 
including the impact on joint warfighting, training, and readiness.
    2. The availability and condition of land, facilities and 
associated airspace (including training areas suitable for maneuver by 
ground, naval, or air forces throughout a diversity of climate and 
terrain areas and staging areas for the use of the Armed Forces in 
homeland defense missions) at both existing and potential receiving 
locations.
    3. The ability to accommodate contingency, mobilization, and future 
total force requirements at both existing and potential receiving 
locations to support operations and training.
    4. The cost of operations and the manpower implications.

Other Considerations

    5. The extent and timing of potential costs and savings, including 
the number of years, beginning with the date of completion of the 
closure or realignment, for the savings to exceed the costs.
    6. The economic impact on existing communities in the vicinity of 
military installations.
    7. The ability of both the existing and potential receiving 
communities' infrastructure to support forces, missions, and personnel.
    8. The environmental impact, including the impact of costs related 
to potential environmental restoration, waste management, and 
environmental compliance activities.

B. Analysis of Public Comments

    The Department of Defense (DoD) received a variety of comments from 
the public, members of Congress, and other elected officials in 
response to the

[[Page 6949]]

proposed DoD selection criteria for closing and realigning military 
installations inside the United States. The Department also received a 
number of letters from members of Congress regarding BRAC selection 
criteria before publication of the draft criteria for comment. The 
Department has treated those letters as comments on the draft criteria 
and included the points raised therein in our assessment of public 
comments. The comments can be grouped into three categories: general, 
military value, and other considerations. The following is an analysis 
of these comments.

(1) General Comments

    (a) Numerous commentors expressed support for the draft criteria 
without suggesting changes and used the opportunity to provide 
information on their particular installations. DoD understands and 
greatly appreciates the high value that communities place on the 
installations in their area and the relationships that have emerged 
between the Department and local communities. Both the BRAC legislation 
and DoD's implementation of it ensure that all installations will be 
treated equally in the base realignment and closure process.
    (b) Several commentors gave various reasons why a particular 
installation, type of installation, or installations designated by 
Congress as unique assets or strategic ports, should be eliminated from 
any closure or realignment evaluation. Public Law 101-510 directs DoD 
to evaluate all installations equally. The Department has issued 
guidance to all DoD Components instructing them to treat all 
installations equally.
    (c) Some commentors indicated the selection criteria should reflect 
the statutory requirement of section 2464 of title 10, United States 
Code, to maintain a core logistics capability, and the statutory 
limitation of Section 2466 that the Department spend no more than 50% 
of its depot-level maintenance and repair funds to contract for the 
performance of such workload. Consistent with the development and 
application of the criteria used in all previous rounds, it is 
inappropriate to include any statutory constraints in the selection 
criteria because they are too varied and numerous and could preclude 
evaluation of all installations equally. The absence of these 
requirements in the text of the criteria, however, should not be 
construed as an indication that the Department will ignore these or any 
other statutory requirements or limitations in making its final 
recommendations.
    (d) The Department did not receive any requests from local 
governments that a particular installation be closed or realigned 
pursuant to section 2914(b)(2) of Public Law 101-510, which states that 
the Secretary shall consider any notice received from a local 
government in the vicinity of a military installation that the local 
government would approve of the closure or realignment of the 
installation. A few private citizens, however, asked that a particular 
installation be closed or that operations be restricted to limit noise 
or other community impacts.
    (e) A few commentors expressed concern over the broad nature of the 
criteria and requested greater detail, including in some cases requests 
for definitions, specificity regarding select functions, and 
explanations of when a closure as opposed to a realignment was 
appropriate. While the Department appreciates a desire for detail, the 
inherent mission diversity of the Military Departments and Defense 
Agencies makes it impossible for DoD to specify detailed criteria that 
could be applied to all installations and functions within the 
Department. Broad criteria allow flexibility of application across a 
wide range of functions within the Department.
    (f) A few commentors recommended assigning specific weights to 
individual criteria and applying those criteria uniformly across the 
Department. It would be impossible for DoD to specify weights for each 
criterion that could be applied uniformly to all installations and 
functions because of the inherent mission diversity within the 
Department. Other than the requirement to give the military value 
criteria priority consideration, the numbering reflected in the listing 
of the criteria are not intended to assign an order of precedence to an 
individual criterion.
    (g) One commentor suggested that section 2687 of title 10, United 
States Code, requires the Department to exclude military installations 
with less than 300 authorized civilian positions from consideration for 
closure or realignment under BRAC. While section 2687 allows the 
Department to close or realign such installations outside the BRAC 
process, it does not preclude their consideration within BRAC. In order 
for the Department to reconfigure its current infrastructure into one 
in which operational capacity maximizes both warfighting capability and 
efficiency, it must undertake an analysis of the totality of its 
infrastructure, not just those with 300 or more authorized civilian 
positions.
    (h) Some commentors were concerned that BRAC would be used as a 
``back door'' method of privatizing civilian positions. DoD's civil 
service employees are an integral part of successful accomplishment of 
defense missions. Section 2904 specifically limits the ability of the 
Secretary of Defense to carry out a privatization in place of a 
military installation recommended for closure or realignment to 
situations where that option is specified in the recommendations of the 
Commission and determined by the Commission to be the most cost-
effective method of implementation of the recommendation. Therefore, if 
any closure or realignment recommendation includes privatization, it 
will be clearly stated in the recommendation.
    (i) One commentor suggested that the Department needed to conduct a 
comprehensive study of U.S. military installations abroad and assess 
whether the existing U.S. base infrastructure meets the needs of 
current and future missions. The BRAC statute applies to military 
installations inside the United States, the District of Columbia, the 
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, 
and any other commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United 
States. As a parallel action, the Secretary of Defense has already 
undertaken a comprehensive study of global basing and presence--the 
Integrated Global Presence and Basing Strategy (IGPBS). BRAC will 
accommodate any decisions from that study that relocate forces to the 
U.S. DoD will incorporate our global basing strategy into a 
comprehensive BRAC analysis, thereby ensuring that any overseas 
redeployment decisions inform our recommendations to the BRAC 
Commission.
    (j) A few commentors cautioned the Department against using the 
authority provided by section 2914(c) to close and retain installations 
in inactive status because of the negative effect such action might 
have on the relevant local community. The Department recognizes that 
job creation gained through the economic reuse of facilities is 
critically important to mitigate the negative impact of BRAC 
recommendations. As such, the Department will exercise the utmost 
caution and consideration when exercising its authority to retain 
installations in an inactive status. It should be noted that the 
Department has always had this authority, even though its appearance in 
the authorizing legislation for the 2005 round would indicate it is a 
new authority. As such, the Department's actions in the four previous 
base closure rounds demonstrate that it will be exercised judiciously.

[[Page 6950]]

    (k) A few commentors asked the Department to give priority to 
relocating activities within the same state or local community. The 
Department recognizes that the economic impact of BRAC reductions can 
be lessened by moving functions to geographically proximate locations. 
As specified in the BRAC legislation, however, military value must be 
the primary consideration when making these decisions. Specifically, 
those factors that are set out in criteria one through four are the 
most important considerations when selecting receiving locations.

(2) Military Value Comments

    (a) A majority of comments received dealt with the military value 
criteria. In the aggregate, military value refers to the collection of 
attributes that determine how well an installation supports force 
structure, functions, and or missions.
    (b) One commentor was concerned that the Department would lose 
sight of the value of service-unique functions when applying criteria 
that include reference to jointness. The Department recognizes the 
distinct military value provided by both service-unique functions and 
those functions that are performed by more than one service. 
Accordingly, the Secretary established a process wherein the Military 
Departments are responsible for analyzing their service-unique 
functions, while Joint Cross-Service Groups, which include 
representatives from each of the military services, analyze the common 
business-oriented support functions.
    (c) A few commentors were concerned that criterion two, which 
captures the legislative requirements set out in Section 2913(b)(1)-
(3), did not recite verbatim the language in the BRAC statute. They 
urged incorporation of ``Preservation of'' into the final criteria to 
ensure that the 2005 BRAC round preserve the infrastructure necessary 
to support future military requirements. Selection criteria must 
facilitate discriminating among various military installations, 
assessing the value of each and comparing them against each other to 
see which installations offer the greatest value to the Department. 
Criteria one through three compare the respective assets of different 
military installations against each other, valuing those with more of 
those assets more highly than those without those assets. By valuing 
the installations with more of these assets higher, the Department 
``preserves'' these valuable assets set out in the criteria. If the 
Department were to modify the criteria to include ``preservation,'' as 
suggested in the comment, we would be forced to assess how an 
installation ``preserves'' something rather than whether an 
installation possesses the assets worthy of preservation, potentially 
undercutting the statutory factors rather than furthering those 
factors. While the criteria proposed by the Secretary do not recite the 
statutory language verbatim, they do fully reflect the nine factors set 
out in the statute, and as such are legally sufficient. Additionally, 
the Department does not agree with the assertion that the criteria must 
contain the word ``preservation'' in order to comply with congressional 
intent. The report of the Committee of Conference to accompany S. 1438, 
the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002, refers to 
the preceding list of requirements as ``factors that must be evaluated 
and incorporated in the Secretary's final list of criteria.'' The BRAC 
statute does not require, as a matter of law, a verbatim recitation of 
the factors set out in Section 2913. On the contrary, a requirement for 
a verbatim recitation is inconsistent with the requirements for 
publication of draft criteria, an extensive public comment period, and 
finalization of criteria only after reviewing public comments. If the 
Secretary were bound to adopt the statutory language as his criteria, 
the detailed publication process required by Congress would be 
meaningless.
    (d) A few commentors stressed the importance of maintaining a surge 
capacity. Surge requirements can arise for any number of reasons, 
including contingencies, mobilizations, or extended changes in force 
levels. Criteria one and three capture the concept of surge capacity as 
they are currently drafted. As was the case with the criteria used in 
the past three rounds of BRAC, criterion one requires the Department to 
consider ``current and future'' mission capabilities and criterion 
three assesses the ``ability to accommodate contingency, mobilization 
and future total force requirements''. In 1999, after three rounds of 
BRAC using these criteria (and similar criteria used in the first round 
of BRAC), the Department looked closely at its ability to accommodate 
increased requirements and found that even after four rounds of base 
realignments and closures it could accommodate the reconstitution of 
1987 force structure--a significantly more robust force than exists 
today--which is a more demanding scenario than a short term 
mobilization. Further, as required by Section 2822 of the National 
Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 (Pub. L. 108-136), the 
Secretary, as part of his assessment of probable threats to national 
security, will determine the ``potential, prudent, surge requirements 
to meet those threats.''
    (e) Numerous commentors stated that previous BRAC rounds failed to 
evaluate research, development, test and evaluation, engineering, 
procurement, and technical facilities accurately, because of the lack 
of effective criteria to consider the features essential to their 
performance. They noted that the criteria applied to such facilities in 
previous rounds were largely the same criteria that were applied to 
operations, training and maintenance facilities serving very different 
functions. DoD highly values its research, development, test and 
evaluation, engineering, procurement, and technical facilities. 
Research, development, engineering, procurement and other technical 
capabilities are elements of military value captured within criteria 
one through four. The Department will consider military value in a way 
that incorporates these elements.
    (f) Several commentors also raised concerns that the criteria did 
not take into account the availability of intellectual capital, 
critical trade skills, a highly trained work force, allied presence, 
and the synergy among nearby installations and between DoD facilities 
and nearby industrial clusters and academic institutions. DoD 
appreciates the importance of having an available pool of intellectual 
capital and critical trade skills that make up, and allow us to recruit 
and retain, a highly trained and experienced work force, as well as the 
synergy provided by nearby facilities. To the extent that the 
availability of highly skilled civilian or contractor work forces and 
relationships with local institutions and other installations influence 
our ability to accomplish the mission, they are captured in criteria 
one, three and seven.
    (g) Some commentors urged DoD to consider strategic location and 
irreplaceable properties and facilities as part of military value. The 
availability and condition of land and facilities are an integral part 
of military value, specifically covered under criterion two. 
Furthermore, the strategic location of DoD facilities informs criteria 
one and three.
    (h) Some commentors said that an installation's demonstrated 
ability to transform, streamline business operations, and manage 
successful programs should be considered as part of military value. In 
some instances commentors praised the outstanding work of a particular 
installation or group of installations. DoD recognizes and appreciates 
the outstanding work done by its installations. Criteria one

[[Page 6951]]

and three capture both the ability to perform a mission and the quality 
of that work--both of which, in turn, capture the willingness to 
transform and streamline.
    (i) Some commentors recommended that DoD consider an installation's 
role in homeland defense, security, domestic preparedness, and the war 
on terrorism as a part of military value. Some suggested that an 
installation's proximity to and ability to protect vital national 
assets, transportation facilities, major urban centers and 
international borders was a key consideration, while others indicated 
that geographic diversity or complete isolation should be the real 
objective in order to enhance security. The security of our nation, 
whether expressed as homeland defense, domestic preparedness, or 
fighting the war on terrorism, is an important DoD mission. Both the 
BRAC legislation and DoD's implementation of it ensure that homeland 
defense and security are considered in the BRAC process. Specifically, 
criterion two requires DoD Components to consider ``[t]he availability 
and condition of land, facilities and associated airspace * * * as 
staging areas for the use of the Armed Forces in homeland defense 
missions.'' Additionally, as a mission of DoD, all of these issues are 
captured by the requirements of criteria one and three.
    (j) Some commentors noted that, in some areas of the country, 
expanding civilian use of adjacent lands is encroaching upon military 
properties and has impacted critical training requirements and 
preparations for deployments. Some said that installations located in 
rural regions with access to large areas of operational airspace over 
land and water as well as direct ingress/egress routes from water to 
land will be key to future military operational and training 
requirements. The issue of encroachment is captured by criterion two 
which requires the Department to consider the availability and 
condition of land, facilities and associated airspace.
    (k) Some commentors recommended that DoD consider the difficulty of 
relocating missions and functions requiring federal nuclear licenses or 
environmental permits, as part of military value. DoD recognizes the 
importance of federal licenses and permits. The ability to accommodate 
current and future force requirements, which includes Federal licensing 
and permitting requirements, is covered under criteria one, two and 
three. Furthermore, the impact of environmental compliance activities 
(i.e., permits and licenses) is also specifically captured in criterion 
eight.
    (l) A few commentors were concerned that the ``cost of operations'' 
language in criterion four would not be a meaningful measure of 
military value because it would appear to encourage the closure or 
realignment of an installation in a high cost of living area, despite 
important strategic reasons for retaining that installation. Because 
DoD operates in a resource constrained environment, all resources--
land, facilities, personnel, and financial--have value. Monetary 
resources are an inextricable component of military value because all 
equipment, services, and military salaries are dependent on the 
availability of this resource. Therefore, the extent to which one 
installation can be operated at less cost than another is worthy of 
consideration, particularly for business operations, although the 
importance of this will vary depending on the function involved.

(3) Other Considerations

    (a) Criteria five through eight deal with other considerations, 
such as costs and savings and economic, community, and environmental 
impacts.
    (b) Some commentors recommended a standardized interpretation of 
the cost criteria. The Department agrees that costs and savings must be 
calculated uniformly. To that end, we are improving the Cost of Base 
Realignment Actions (COBRA) model used successfully in previous BRAC 
rounds to address issues of uniformity and will provide it to the 
Military Departments and the Joint Cross-Service Groups for calculation 
of costs, savings, and return on investment in accordance with 
criterion five.
    (c) Several commentors stated that total mission support costs 
associated with reestablishing or realigning a military activity should 
be considered, including such things as the costs of reestablishing 
intellectual capital and relationships with nearby businesses and 
academic institutions, the costs associated with mission disruption, 
the costs of contractor relocations, and the availability and 
reliability of raw materials and supplies. DoD has improved the Cost of 
Base Realignment Actions (COBRA) model used in prior BRAC rounds to 
more accurately and appropriately reflect the variety of costs of base 
realignment and closure actions. DoD will provide it to the Military 
Departments and the Joint Cross-Service Groups for calculation of 
costs, savings, and return on investment in accordance with criterion 
five.
    (d) A few commentors stated DoD should consider the total resource 
impact of a recommendation to the Federal Government and reflect both 
costs and savings. The Department understands the decision making value 
of comprehensive consideration of costs. In accordance with Section 
2913(d), the Department's application of its cost and savings criterion 
will ``take into account the effect of the proposed closure or 
realignment on the costs of any other activity of the Department of 
Defense or any other Federal agency that may be required to assume 
responsibility for activities at the military installations.'' The 
Department will issue guidance to the Military Departments and the 
Joint Cross Service Groups that incorporates this requirement in the 
application of criterion five.
    (e) Some commentors asked that DoD consider the impact of closing 
or realigning an installation on the local community and on military 
retirees in the area who rely on the installation's medical facilities, 
commissary, and other activities. While military value criteria must be 
the primary consideration, the impact of a closure or realignment on 
the local community, including military retirees residing therein, will 
be considered through criteria five, six, and seven. The DoD Components 
will calculate economic impact on existing communities by measuring the 
effects on direct and indirect employment for each recommended closure 
or realignment. These effects will be determined by using statistical 
information obtained from the Departments of Labor and Commerce. This 
is consistent with the methodology used in prior BRAC rounds to measure 
economic impact.
    (f) Some commentors asked that DoD recognize that their state, 
facility or community was affected by closures and realignments in 
prior BRAC rounds and that it, therefore, be protected in this round. 
These and other commentors suggested that the Department view economic 
impact cumulatively or take into account the need of a community for an 
economic boost. Still others suggested that the current BRAC round 
respect decisions made in prior BRAC rounds--and not take any action 
inconsistent with a prior recommendation. DoD recognizes the impact 
that BRAC can have on local communities, and makes every effort in the 
implementation phase of BRAC to soften the effect of closures and 
realignments on local communities. The BRAC statute, however, 
specifically requires the Secretary to consider all military 
installations in the United States equally, without regard to whether 
that installation has previously

[[Page 6952]]

been considered for closure or realignment.
    (g) The United States General Accounting Office (GAO) stated that 
the draft criteria, if adopted, would add an element of consistency and 
continuity in approach with those of the past three BRAC rounds. It 
noted that its analysis of lessons learned from prior BRAC rounds 
affirmed the soundness of these basic criteria and generally endorsed 
their retention for the future, while recognizing the potential for 
improving the process by which the criteria are used in decision-
making. It suggested that DoD clarify two issues: (1) The Department's 
intention to consider potential costs to other DoD activities or 
federal agencies that may be affected by a proposed closure or 
realignment recommendation under the criterion related to cost and 
savings, and (2) the extent to which the impact of costs related to 
potential environmental restoration, waste management, and 
environmental compliance activities will be included in cost and 
savings analyses of individual BRAC recommendations.
    As discussed above, DoD recognizes that the BRAC legislation 
required it to consider cost impacts to other DoD entities and Federal 
agencies in its BRAC decision-making and will issue implementing 
guidance to ensure that such costs are considered under criterion five.
    On the second point raised by GAO, which was echoed by a few other 
commentors, DoD policy guidance has historically stipulated that 
environmental restoration costs were not to be factored into analyses 
of costs and savings when examining potential installations for 
realignment and closure, since DoD was obligated to restore 
contaminated sites on military installations regardless of whether or 
not they were closed. DoD concurs with GAO that determining such costs 
could be problematic in advance of a closure decision, since reuse 
plans for BRAC properties would not yet be determined and studies to 
identify restoration requirements would not yet be completed. As 
suggested, DoD will issue guidance to clarify consideration of 
environmental costs.
    (h) A few commentors suggested that criterion seven--the ability of 
both the existing and potential receiving communities'' infrastructure 
to support forces, missions, and personnel `` be included in military 
value and receive priority consideration. DoD has demonstrated in 
previous BRAC rounds that factors falling within this criterion can be 
applied within the military value criteria if they directly relate to 
the elements of criteria one through four.
    (i) A few commentors asked the Department to consider the social as 
well as the economic impact on existing communities. The Department 
recognizes that its installations can be key components of the social 
fabric of the communities in which they are located, in both a positive 
or negative sense. For instance, the BRAC statute requires that the 
Department consider any notice received from a local government in the 
vicinity of a military installation that it would approve of the 
closure or realignment of the installation. Additionally, because 
social impact is an intangible factor that would be difficult for the 
Department to quantify and measure fairly, issues of social impact are 
best addressed to the BRAC Commission during its process of receiving 
public input.
    (j) A few commentors wanted to ensure that, as the Department 
considers the ability of community infrastructure to support the 
military, DoD view that ability as evolving, and consider the 
willingness and capacity of the community to make additional 
investments. The infrastructure provided by the communities surrounding 
our installations is a key component in their efficient and effective 
operation. As the BRAC legislation has established a stringent 
timetable for the Secretary to arrive at recommendations, the 
Department must focus on the existing, demonstrated ability of a 
community to support its installation, especially as potential 
investment actions may not translate into reality.
    (k) One commentor requested clarification that criterion eight `` 
environmental impact `` includes consideration of the impact of the 
closure or realignment on historic properties. As has been the case in 
prior rounds of base closure, the Department will consider historic 
properties as a part of criterion eight.
    (l) Several commentors stated that the criteria should consider the 
effect of closures and realignments on the quality of life and morale 
of military personnel and their families. The Department agrees that 
the quality of life provided to its military personnel and their 
families significantly contributes to the Department's ability to 
recruit and retain quality personnel. Military personnel are better 
able to perform their missions when they feel comfortable that their 
needs and those of their families are taken care of. Quality of life is 
captured throughout the criteria, particularly criterion seven.

C. Previous Federal Register References

    1. 55 FR 49678, November 30, 1990: Draft selection criteria and 
request for comments.
    2. 55 FR 53586, December 31, 1990: Extend comment period on 
draft selection criteria.
    3. 56 FR 6374, February 15, 1991: Final selection criteria and 
analysis of comments.
    4. 57 FR 59334, December 15, 1992: Final selection criteria.
    5. 59 FR 63769, December 9, 1994: Final selection criteria
    6. 68 FR 74221, December 23, 2003: Draft selection criteria and 
request for comments.
    7. 69 FR 3335, January 23, 2004: Extend comment period on draft 
selection criteria.


    Dated: February 10, 2004.
L.M. Bynum,
Alternate OSD Federal Register, Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
[FR Doc. 04-3247 Filed 2-10-04; 2:04 pm]
BILLING CODE 5001-06-P



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