Base Realignment and Closure
Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) is a process by a United States federal government commission to increase United States Department of Defense efficiency by planning the end of the Cold War realignment and closure of military installations. More than 350 installations have been closed in five BRAC rounds: 1988, 1991, 1993, 1995, and 2005. These five BRAC rounds constitute a combined savings of $12 billion annually.
The Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 after the 1947 reorganization for establishing the National Military Establishment was passed regarding reductions of US military bases, forts, posts, and stations. The subsequent 1950s buildup for the Cold War (e.g., during the Korean War) resulted in extensive installations such as the widespread number of Permanent System radar stations and Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) control centers. By 1959, plans for extensive numbers of Cold War installations were canceled (e.g., DoD's June 19, 1959, Continental Air Defense Program reduced the number of Super Combat Center underground nuclear bunker to 7) and in 1958, US Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) began to replace Strategic Air Command bombers. From 1960–1964, the Eisenhower and Kennedy Administrations closed 574 U.S. military bases around the world, particularly after President John F. Kennedy was briefed after his inauguration that the missile gap was not a concern.
- 1961 closures
- On March 28, 1961 President Kennedy announced the closure of 73 military establishments.
- 1964 closures
- "In December 1963, Secretary McNamara announced the closure of twenty-six DOD installations or activities in the CONUS".:134
- 1965 closures
- Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara announced 95 base closures/realignments in November 1964: 80 in the United States (33 states & DC) and 15 overseas. Closures included the Portsmouth Navy Yard, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the Brooklyn Army Terminal, the Springfield Armory, 6 bomber bases, and 15 Air Defense Command radar stations—a realignment transferred Highlands Air Force Station to the adjacent Highlands Army Air Defense Site.
- 1968 Project 693
- Project 693 was established by Secretary Clark Clifford during the Vietnam War for reducing programs and personnel, and the project also closed several military installations.
- 1969 realignments
- The DoD realigned "307 military bases" beginning with an announcement in October 1969.
- 1974 Project Concise
- Project Concise eliminated most of the Project Nike missile locations which generally each had 2 sites, a radar station on an elevated landform for guidance and command/control, and a launch area that had launch rails and stored missiles and warheads. A 1976 follow-on program to Concise closed additional installations.
- Grace Commission, 1983
- The Grace Commission was President Ronald Reagan's "Private Sector Survey" on cost control that "concluded in 1983 that savings could be made in the military base structure" and "recommended establishing an independent commission to study the issue." "Public Law 100–526 endorsed the review" in October 1988 and authorized the "special commission to recommend base realignments and closures to the Secretary of Defense" and provided relief from NEPA provisions that had hindered the base closure process.:156
1988 Carlucci Commission
On 3 May 1988 the Carlucci Commission was chartered by Secretary of Defense Frank C. Carlucci,:156 which in December 1988 recommended to close 5 Air Force bases: Chanute Air Force Base in Illinois, George Air Force Base, Mather Air Force Base and Norton Air Force Base in California, and Pease Air Force Base in New Hampshire).:161
Defense Base Realignment and Closure Act of 1990
The Defense Base Realignment and Closure Act of 1990 provided "the basic framework for the transfer and disposal of military installations closed during the base realignment and closure (BRAC) process". The process was created in 1988 to reduce pork barrel politics with members of Congress that arise when facilities face activity reductions.
The most recent process began May 13, 2005, when Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld forwarded his recommendations for realignments and closures to the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission. The BRAC is an independent nine-member panel appointed by the President. This panel evaluated the list by taking testimony from interested parties and paying visits to affected bases. The BRAC Commission had the opportunity to add bases to the list, and did so in a July 19, 2005 hearing. The Commission met its deadline of September 2005 to provide the evaluated list to the President, who approved the list with the condition that the list could only be approved or disapproved in its entirety. On November 7, 2005 the approved list was then given to Congress which then had the opportunity to disapprove the entire list within 45 days by enacting a resolution of disapproval. This did not happen and the BRAC Commission's recommendations became final.
Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commissions
The 1988 Base Realignment and Closure Commission included:
- Alabama Army Ammunition Plant
- Army Materials Technology Laboratory
- Army Reserve Center Gaithersburg
- Bennett Army National Guard Facility
- Cameron Station
- Cape St. George
- Chanute Air Force Base
- Coosa River Storage Annex
- Defense Mapping Agency site Herndon, Virginia
- Former Nike Site at the Aberdeen Proving Ground
- Fort Bliss (Realign)
- Fort Des Moines
- Fort Detrick (Realign)
- Fort Dix (Realign as Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst)
- Fort Douglas
- Fort Holabird
- Fort Meade (Realign)
- Fort Monmouth
- Fort Sheridan
- Fort Wingate Ammunition Storage Depot
- Fort Wingate
- George Air Force Base
- Hamilton Army Airfield
- Indiana Army Ammunition Plant
- Irwin Support Detachment Annex
- Jefferson Proving Ground
- Kapalama Military Reservation Phase III
- Lexington Army Depot
- Lexington-Bluegrass Army Depot
- Mather Air Force Base
- Navajo Depot Activity (Turned over to the Arizona Army National Guard)
- Naval Hospital Philadelphia
- Naval Reserve Center Coconut Grove
- Naval Station Galveston
- Naval Station Lake Charles
- Naval Station New York
- Naval Station Puget Sound
- Naval Station San Francisco (Realign)
- New Orleans Military Ocean Terminal
- Nike Washington-Baltimore
- Norton Air Force Base
- Pease Air Force Base (Realign as Pease Air National Guard Base)
- Pontiac Storage Facility
- Presidio of San Francisco
- Pueblo Army Depot (Realign)
- Salton Sea Test Base
- St. Louis Area Support Center Wherry housing
- Tacony Warehouse
- Umatilla Army Depot (Realign)
The 1991 Base Realignment and Closure Commission included:
- Beale Air Force Base (Realign)
- Bergstrom Air Force Base
- Carswell Air Force Base (Turned over to the United States Navy Reserve and realign as Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth)
- Castle Air Force Base
- Eaker Air Force Base
- England Air Force Base
- Fleet Combat Direction Systems Support Activity San Diego (Realign)
- Fort Benjamin Harrison
- Fort Chaffee (Turned over to the Arkansas Army National Guard)
- Fort Devens (Turned over to United States Army Reserve realign as Devens Reserve Forces Training Area)
- Fort Ord
- Fort Rucker (Realigned)
- Grissom Air Force Base (Realign as Grissom Air Reserve Base)
- Hunters Point Annex
- Integrated Combat Systems Test Facility San Francisco
- Letterman Army Institute of Research (Disestablish)
- Loring Air Force Base
- Lowry Air Force Base
- Marine Corps Air Station Tustin
- Myrtle Beach Air Force Base
- Naval Air Station Chase Field
- Naval Air Station Moffett Field
- Naval Air Warfare Center Warminster
- Naval Electronic Systems Engineering Center San Diego
- Naval Electronic Systems Engineering Center Vallejo
- Naval Electronic Systems Engineering Center
- Naval Space Systems Activity Los Angeles
- Naval Station Long Beach
- Naval Station Philadelphia
- Naval Station Puget Sound
- Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake (Realign)
- Naval Air Station Point Mugu
- Philadelphia Naval Yard
- Presidio of Monterey
- Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base
- Rickenbacker Air Force Base (Portion realigned as Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base)
- Sacramento Army Depot
- Williams Air Force Base
- Wurtsmith Air Force Base
The 1993 Base Realignment and Closure Commission included:
- Anniston Army Depot (Realign)
- Camp Evans
- Fort Wingate
- Griffiss Air Force Base
- Homestead Air Force Base (Realign as Homestead Air Reserve Base)
- K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base
- March Air Force Base (Realign as March Air Reserve Base)
- Mare Island Naval Shipyard
- Marine Corps Air Station El Toro
- Naval Air Station Agana
- Naval Air Station Alameda
- Naval Air Station Barbers Point
- Naval Air Station Cecil Field
- Naval Air Station Dallas (Realign as Grand Prairie Armed Forces Reserve Complex)
- Naval Air Station Glenview
- Naval Air Warfare Center Trenton
- Naval Aviation Depot Alameda
- Naval Aviation Depot Norfolk
- Naval Aviation Depot Pensacola
- Naval Electronic Systems Engineering Center, Saint Inigoes
- Naval Hospital Charleston
- Naval Hospital Oakland
- Naval Hospital Orlando
- Naval Reserve Center Gadsden
- Naval Reserve Center Montgomery
- Naval Station Charleston
- Naval Station Mobile
- Naval Station Staten Island
- Naval Station Treasure Island
- Naval Supply Center, Oakland
- Naval Training Center Orlando
- Naval Training Center San Diego
- Newark Air Force Base
- O'Hare Air Reserve Station
- Plattsburgh Air Force Base
- Vint Hill Farms Station
- Williams Air Force Base
The 1995 Base Realignment and Closure Commission included:
- Bergstrom Air Force Base
- Camp Bonneville
- Castle Air Force Base
- Fitzsimons Army Medical Center
- Fort Chafee (Turned over to the Arkansas National Guard)
- Fort Greely (Realign)
- Fort Indiantown Gap (Turned over to the Pennsylvania National Guard)
- Fort McClellan
- Fort Pickett (Turned over to the Virginia National Guard)
- Fort Ritchie
- Kelly Air Force Base (realigned as Kelly Field)
- Letterkenny Army Depot
- McClellan Air Force Base
- Military Ocean Terminal at Bayonne
- Naval Air Facility Adak
- Naval Air Station South Weymouth
- Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Warminster
- Naval Air Warfare Center, Aircraft Division, Indianapolis
- Naval Reserve Center Fayetteville
- Naval Reserve Center Fort Smith
- Naval Reserve Center Huntsville
- Naval Shipyard, Long Beach
- Naval Supply Center, Oakland
- Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division
- Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division
- Oakland Army Base
- Ontario Air National Guard Station
- Red River Army Depot
- Reese Air Force Base
- Roslyn Air National Guard Station
- Savanna Army Depot Activity
- Seneca Army Depot
- Ship Repair Facility, Guam
- Sierra Army Depot (Realign)
- Stratford Army Engine Plant
The Pentagon released its proposed list for the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission on May 13, 2005 (a date given the moniker "BRAC Friday," a pun on Black Friday). After an extensive series of public hearings, analysis of DoD-supplied supporting data, and solicitation of comments from the public, the list of recommendations was revised by the 9-member Defense Base Closure and Realignments Commission in two days of public markups and votes on individual recommendations (the proceedings were broadcast by C-SPAN and are available for review on the network's website). The Commission submitted its revised list to the President on September 8, 2005. The President approved the list and signalled his approval to Congress on September 15. The House of Representatives took up a joint resolution to disapprove the recommendations on October 26, but the resolution failed to pass. The recommendations were thereby enacted. The Secretary of Defense must implement the recommendations no later than September 15, 2011.
Major facilities slated for closure included:
Major facilities slated for realignment include:
Twenty-six bases were re-aligned into twelve joint bases, with each joint base's installation support being led by the Army, the Air Force, or the Navy. An example is Joint Base Lewis–McChord, Washington, combining Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base.
The 2005 Commission recommended that Congress authorize another BRAC round in 2015, and then every 8 years thereafter. On May 10, 2012, the House Armed Services Committee rejected Pentagon calls for base closures outside of 2015 round by a 44 to 18 vote. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta had called for two rounds of base closures, while at the same time arguing that the alternative of the sequester would be a "meat-ax" approach to cuts which would "hollow out" military forces.
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 specifically prohibits authorization of future BRAC rounds: Nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorize an additional Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round.
In March 2015, the Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations and Environment addressed the possibility of a future BRAC, indicating that the DOD, Defense Secretary Ash Carter was requesting authority to conduct another BRAC. In September 2015, at the tenth anniversary of the end of the most recent BRAC commission report, its former chairman Anthony J. Principi wrote "now is the time to do what’s right for our men and women in uniform. Spending dollars on infrastructure that does not serve their needs is inexcusable."
Base Closure and Realignment Appropriations
The following is a chronological timeline of authorizations for U.S. Congressional legislation related to US defense installation realignments and military base closures.
|Date of Enactment||Public Law Number||U.S. Statute Citation||U.S. Legislative Bill||U.S. Presidential |
|October 24, 1988||P.L. 100-526||102 Stat. 2623||S. 2749||Ronald W. Reagan|
|November 5, 1990||P.L. 101-510||104 Stat. 1485||H.R. 4739||George H.W. Bush|
|October 3, 1995||P.L. 104-32||109 Stat. 283||H.R. 1817||William J. Clinton|
|September 16, 1996||P.L. 104-196||110 Stat. 2385||H.R. 3517||William J. Clinton|
|September 30, 1997||P.L. 105-45||111 Stat. 1142||H.R. 2016||William J. Clinton|
|September 20, 1998||P.L. 105-237||112 Stat. 1553||H.R. 4059||William J. Clinton|
|August 17, 1999||P.L. 106-52||113 Stat. 259||H.R. 2465||William J. Clinton|
|July 13, 2000||P.L. 106-246||114 Stat. 511||H.R. 4425||William J. Clinton|
|November 5, 2001||P.L. 107-64||115 Stat. 474||H.R. 2904||George W. Bush|
|October 23, 2002||P.L. 107-249||116 Stat. 1578||H.R. 5011||George W. Bush|
|November 22, 2003||P.L. 108-132||117 Stat. 1374||H.R. 2559||George W. Bush|
|October 13, 2004||P.L. 108-324||118 Stat. 1220||H.R. 4837||George W. Bush|
|2005||P.L.||H.R. 4302||George W. Bush|
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 15, 2005. Retrieved May 15, 2005.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Explore Congressional Research Service Reports: List View UNT Digital Library". Digital.library.unt.edu. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
- Flynn, Aaron M. (February 23, 2005). "Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC): Property Transfer and Disposal" (abstract at University of Texas Digital Library). Congressional Research Service Reports. Retrieved October 12, 2011.
- "Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC)". Brac.gov. Archived from the original on April 5, 2016. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
- "Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC): Background and Issues for Congress" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. April 25, 2019. p. 7. Retrieved March 21, 2020.
- "Highlands Radar Site Closing" (PDF). The Daily Register. Red Bank, New Jersey. November 20, 1964. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 25, 2012. Retrieved October 12, 2011.
McNamara Firm on Base Shutdowns … Temporary Team … Highlands Air Force Station … personnel will be inactivated by July, 1966, leaving Army radar unit at base intact
- "The Lewiston Daily Sun - Google News Archive Search". News.google.com. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
- "99 - Special Message to the Congress on the Defense Budget. March 28, 1961". The American Presidency Project. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
- Shaw, Frederick J., ed. (2004). Locating Air Force Base Sites: History's Legacy (Report). AFD-100928-010. Air Force History and Museums Program.
The passage in October 1988 of Public Law 100–526 removed certain restrictive provisions of the 1969 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and allowed the first round of domestic base closings in nearly a decade. ...
- Defense Agencies Summary: DoD Project 693, nd, fldr FY 1969 Budget, box 71, ASD(C) files, OSD Hist.
- Drea, Edward J. (1984). McNamara, Clifford,and the Burdens of Vietnam1965-1969 (PDF) (Report). Volume VI, Secretaries of Defense Historical Series. Historical Office, Office of the Secretary of Defense. ISBN 978-0-16-088135-0. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 29, 2013. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
the U.S. Air Force Strategic Air Command, denominated a specified command because, although part of the Air Force, it came under the operational control of the JCS.24 ... Clifford had previously appointed a group, known as Project 693, to determine which programs to sacrifice when it became necessary.65 ... McNamara test, 25 Jan 66, House Subcte No 2, HCAS, Hearing: Department of Defense Decision to Reduce the Number and Types of Manned Bombers in the Strategic Air Command, 6084.
- "Niagara Falls Air Force Units Are Phased Out" (Google news archive). Observer-Reporter. October 28, 1969. Retrieved September 3, 2013.
- "Kentucky New Era". Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
- "Lodi News-Sentinel". Archived from the original on May 15, 2016.
- "Base-Closing Plan Survives Assaults by Some on Hill". CQ Press. CQ Almanac 1989, 45th ed. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly. pp. 470–73. Missing or empty
- "BASE CLOSURES AND REALIGNMENTS BY STATE: 1995, 1993, 1991, AND 1988" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 28, 2019. Retrieved June 21, 2015.
- Cassata, Donna (April 25, 1990). "34 military bases may face the ax". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. Spartanburg, S.C. p. A3.
- "Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission - 1993 Report to the President" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. July 1, 1993. Retrieved October 23, 2007.
- 1995 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission Report to the President (Report).
- See Joint Base Background (part 4 of the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam webpage) (on Hickam AFB's official website). Retrieved 2010-06-18. To access other parts of the webpage, go to the bottom of the right scroll bar and click on the down arrow (or the "page-down" double arrow). To go to earlier parts of the webpage, click on the up arrow (or the "page-up" double arrow). See Hickam Air Force Base#Internet webpage for a partial list of the webpage parts that discuss joint basing and BRAC.
- BRAC panel calls closure round premature - News. GovExec.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-21.
- Military Headlines. Military.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-21.
- U.S. House committee rejects more military base closings. NOLA.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-21.
- Pub.L. 113–66 (text) (pdf): National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 (Sec. 2711; page 334; 127 Stat. 1004)
- Jordan, Bryant (May 7, 2014). "House Panel Protects A-10, Pulls BRAC from Budget". Military.com. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
- Marshall, Jr., Tyrone. "Senior DoD Official Testifies on Budget, BRAC". U.S. Department of Defense. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
- Anthony J. Principi (September 3, 2015). "Time for a new BRAC". The Hill. Capitol Hill Publishing Corp., a subsidiary of News Communications, Inc. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
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