Defense

March 25, 2013

DOD requires more base closings, official says

The Defense Department possesses more real estate than it needs and is looking to close additional bases and installations in the United States and abroad, a senior DOD official told a House panel March 14.

Air Force leaders agree, according to Kathleen I. Ferguson, acting assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and logistics.

“While we have no recent excess infrastructure capacity analysis from which to draw, our capacity analysis from 2004 suggested that 24 percent of Air Force basing infrastructure was excess to our mission needs,” Ferguson said.

Since the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure, which brought very few changes to the Air Force and only 3.4 percent reductions to the entire DOD, the Air Force has reduced its force structure by more than 500 aircraft and active-duty end strength by nearly 8 percent, Ferguson said.

“So, intuitively we know that we still have excess infrastructure, while we spend considerable time optimizing the use of our facilities and carefully and frugally managing those facilities we know to be excess,” Ferguson said.

Based on these facts, which were mirrored in the other services, another round of base realignments and closings should be an essential part of any overall strategy for reshaping the military, John Conger, the acting deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment, told the House Armed Services Committee in prepared testimony.

“Force structure is declining relative to that which existed in 2005, thereby continuing to add to aggregate excess capacity,” Conger said, noting that the U.S. Army is reducing its active-duty end strength from 570,000 to 490,000 by 2020, and the Marine Corps from about 202,000 to 182,000.

“If we assume our bases were either appropriately loaded or were carrying excess capacity, these force reductions will increase that surplus,” he said.

In last year’s budget request, the Pentagon asked Congress for permission to initiate two more rounds of base closings under BRAC. Conger said the last round of BRAC closings, in 2005, produced $4 billion in annual recurring savings.

By law, under the BRAC process, an independent commission submits to Congress a list of military installations it believes should be closed or realigned, with lawmakers and the president then required to approve or reject the recommendations without change.

The Defense Department is examining further reductions in U.S. military bases in Europe, where Conger said more than 100 sites have already been returned to host governments since 2003, and where no authority from Congress is required for recommending additional closures.

“By the end of this year, we plan to conclude with a fully vetted list of options from which the Secretary (of Defense) can make strategic decisions for eliminating excess, preserving and even enhancing our ability to meet strategic and operational commitments,” Conger said in his prepared remarks.

The U.S. Army already plans to close 33 sites in Europe associated with the decision to reduce brigade combat teams based on the continent.

 




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


 
 

 

Headlines March 4, 2015

News: Pentagon: Another BRAC will save money - Pentagon planners have a new pitch to lawmakers skeptical of a fresh round of base closings: We promise we’ll save money this time.   Business: China’s new C919 will begin test flights this year - China’s new superjet will take to the skies for the first time later this...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Jensen Stidham

World War II pilot reunited with P-47

Air Force photograph by SrA. Jensen Stidham Retired Air National Guard Chief Warrant Officer 2 Robert Hertel, laughs while under the wing of a P-47 Thunderbolt during the Heritage Flight Training and Certification Course Feb. 2...
 
 

News Briefs March 4, 2015

General: 8,500 Islamic State fighters killed in Iraq so far The U.S.-led military coalition in Iraq has killed more than 8,500 Islamic State fighters since its bombing campaign began in August, the top general overseeing the coalition said March 3. Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, the commander of U.S. Central Command, said the Islamic State, which...
 

 
Lockheed Martin photograph

Turning up the heat

Lockheed Martin photograph Lockheed Martin ATHENA laser weapon system defeats a truck target by disabling the engine, demonstrating its military effectiveness against enemy ground vehicles. Latest evolution of Lockheed Martin l...
 
 

USO Visit

Air Force photograph by Jet Fabara Actor Vince Vaughn speaks with Edwards Airmen and 412th Security Forces Squadron members at the base library before introducing an advance screening of his new movie, “Unfinished Business,” at the base theater Feb. 28.
 
 

Sikorsky S-97 RAIDERô team begins final assembly of second aircraft

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., announced March 4 the start of final assembly of the second S-97 RAIDERô helicopter at the company’s Development Flight Center. Along with a team of industry suppliers, Sikorsky is developing two RAIDERô prototypes to demonstrate the revolutionary new capabilities in improved maneuverability and flight speed. 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>