Army

March 21, 2014

Congress told Army needs another BRAC round

Gary Sheftick
Army News Service

WASHINGTON — The Army has excess infrastructure that is expensive to maintain. Under a tight budget, funds used to maintain that infrastructure could be better spent on Soldier readiness, officials told lawmakers, Wednesday.

Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, testified before the House Appropriations Committee, subcommittee on military construction, veterans affairs and related agencies. She and her counterparts from the other services and Department of Defense explained the need for another round of base realignment and closure, known as BRAC.

“We simply do not have the money to operate buildings that are empty,” Hammack said, adding that facilities in mothballs are also “lost opportunities” for surrounding communities who might make better use of the property.

John Conger, acting deputy under secretary of Defense for Installations and Environment, said the last BRAC round of 2005, which cost $35 billion to implement, “has left a bad taste.” Emphasis in 2005 was on “transformation” instead of only efficiencies.

“The key reason that BRAC 2005 cost so much is we were willing to accept recommendations that did not save money — that did not pay back,” he said. Any future BRAC round would solely focus on efficiencies, he said.

The last BRAC round identified an excess Army infrastructure capacity of more than 20 percent, Hammack said, adding that only 3.5 percent was reduced.

“So there is clearly excess capacity that has been there awhile that we have not addressed,” Hammack said.

In addition, she said any future end-strength reduction that puts the Army below 490,000 Soldiers will result in excess capacity.
The Army currently has an excess capacity ranging between 12 to 28 percent, depending upon the category of facility, Hammack said. She pointed out that a facility capacity analysis is currently underway Army-wide, and should be completed this year. The analysis will identify exactly how much excess is in the inventory, and will suggest opportunities for consolidation.

In addition, a programmatic environmental assessment, or PEA, is also underway, “taking another look at infrastructure,” she said.
“BRAC is a proven means to address excess capacity in the United States,” Hammack said.

The Army receives about $2 billion net savings annually from previous BRAC rounds, Hammack said. She went on to say DoD saves about $3.8 billion annually from BRAC 2005, and about $12 billion from all previous BRAC rounds.

Savings from another BRAC round are needed, Hammack said. The Army’s proposed fiscal year 2015 budget of $1.3 billion for military construction and Family housing is about a 39-percent reduction from the fiscal year 2014 budget.

The focus with a reduced budget is only on repairing or replacing infrastructure that is “failing,” Hammack said, although the Army is also asking for $13 billion for installation energy, environmental programs, facility sustainment, restoration and modernization and base operations support.

Current budget levels require a “difficult balance between the cost of maintaining infrastructure and force readiness,” Hammack said.

In Europe, she said the Army is “on track” to shrink overseas infrastructure and the same will be necessary in the continental United States.

In addressing excess infrastructure, Hammack said the Army and Congress have both historically concluded that BRAC is “more transparent and economically advantageous” than other ways of addressing excess capacity.

“We have a clear business case for a 2014 round,” Hammack said. “There is a clear path forward for Congress to agree to a new round of BRAC.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Cyber-Security-Scout-Article-06OCT2014

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

U.S. Army graphic by Lawrence Boyd “You Are the First Line of Defense.” That is the message those who are responsible for the defense of the Army’s networks wants to get out to the rest of the Army during National Cyber S...
 
 

Depression awareness showcased during month of October

Stand To! In observance of October as National Depression Awareness Month, the U.S. Army will join several organizations across America to inform the public about the signs and symptoms of depression. The public will learn the importance of seeking treatment and will be provided information about the availability of free online anonymous behavioral health screenings....
 
 

Robin Williams — could someone have helped?

I haven’t been able to talk about it until now, but I was really angry that Robin Williams committed suicide. I have been a fan of Williams since the Mork and Mindy days and always admired how much he had going for him. I knew he had problems, but somehow never considered that suicide could...
 

 
DoD

DOD recognizes commitment to prevent sexual assault

WASHINGTON — The Defense Department Wednesday honored exceptional groups and individuals from each military component who contributed an innovative idea or approach to positively impact sexual assault prevention and response programs. The Sexual Assault Prevention Innovation Award recognizes Service members and DOD Civilians whose work in support of service members has been particularly notew...
 
 

Trick-or-treat hours set for Fort Huachuca Oct. 31

Fort Huachuca Halloween trick-or-treating will take place Oct. 31 from 6 – 8 p.m. for children under 14. Children 9 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Standard access requirements for the installation remain in effect. This includes the requirement that everyone 16 and over entering the installation provide a valid picture identification and...
 
 

VA processes more than 1.3 million veterans’ claims in FY14

WASHINGTON — More than 1.3 million veterans received decisions on their Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation and pension claims in fiscal year 2014 — the highest number in VA’s history, surpassing last year’s record-breaking production by more than 150,000 claims. This second year of record-breaking production comes as VA continues to transform the...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin