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 end of the Cold War realignment and closure of military installations. More than 350 installations have been closed in five BRAC rounds: 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995, and 2005.
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 cancelled (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 Missiles (ICMs) 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
- President Kennedy's announced on March 28, 1961, for "73 military establishments" to be closed--Congress was informed on 30 March-- (e.g., the Snark Missile Launch Complex's wing was deactivated on on 25 June 1961), and 224 closures were added later in 1973.
- 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
- 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
The Carlucci Commission was chartered by the Secretary of Defense on 3 May 1988:156 and in December 1988 recommended closure of 5 Air Force Bases (Chanute in Illinois, George, Mather and Norton in California, and Pease 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 the Secretary of Defense 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 their 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
- Chanute Air Force Base
- Coosa River Storage Annex
- Fort Douglas
- Fort Sheridan
- Fort Wingate
- George Air Force Base
- Hamilton Army Airfield
- Jefferson Proving Ground
- Lexington Army Depot
- Mather Air Force Base (Redirect)
- Navajo Depot Activity
- Naval Station Galveston
- Naval Station Lake Charles
- Naval Station New York
- Naval Station San Francisco (Realign)
- Norton Air Force Base
- Pease Air Force Base
- Presidio of San Francisco
- Salton Sea Test Base
- Leased space in Alexandria, Virginia
In 1990, the navy considered cutting 34 military installations.
The 1991 Base Realignment and Closure Commission included:
- Beale Air Force Base (Realign)
- Bergstrom Air Force Base (Active Component only)
- Carswell Air Force Base
- 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 Chafee
- Fort Devens
- Fort Ord
- Fort Rucker (Realigned)
- Grissom Air Force 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
- March Air Force Base (Realign)
- 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 Weapons Center China Lake (Realign}
- Pacific Missile Test Center Point Mogu (Realign)
- Philadelphia Naval Yard
- Presidio of Monterey
- Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base
- Rickenbacker Air Force Base
- Sacramento Army Depot
- Williams Air Force Base
- Wurtsmith Air Force Base
- Anniston Army Depot (Realign)
- Camp Evans
- Fort Wingate
- Griffiss Air Force Base
- Homestead Air Force Base
- K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base
- March Air Force 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
- 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 (Redirect)
- Bergstrom Air Force Base
- Camp Bonneville
- Castle Air Force Base
- Fitzsimons Army Medical Center
- Fort Chafee
- Fort Greely (Realign)
- Fort Indiantown Gap
- Fort McClellan
- Fort Pickett
- Fort Ritchie
- Kelly Air Force Base
- 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
- 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 not later than September 15, 2011.
Major facilities slated for closure include:
- Defense Finance and Accounting Service, New York (removed from list 2005)
- Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota (removed from list August 26, 2005)
- Fort Gillem, Georgia
- Fort McPherson, Georgia
- Fort Monmouth, New Jersey
- Fort Monroe, Virginia
- Naval Air Station Brunswick, Maine
- Willow Grove Naval Air Station/Joint Reserve Base, Pennsylvania
- Naval Station Ingleside, Texas
- Naval Station Pascagoula, Mississippi
- Naval Submarine Base New London, Connecticut (removed from list August 24, 2005)
- Navy Supply Corps School
- Otis Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts (removed from list August 26, 2005)
- Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine (removed from list August 26, 2005)
Major facilities slated for realignment include:
- Army Human Resource Command (HRC), Missouri, moving to the Fort Knox Military Installation in Kentucky
- Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico
- Eielson Air Force Base and Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska
- Fort Belvoir, Virginia
- Fort Meade, Maryland
- Fort Rucker, Alabama, Aviation Technical Test Center moving to the Redstone Arsenal, AL and combining with the Redstone Technical Test Center to form Redstone Test Center
- Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota
- Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia (extent contingent on reopening the former Naval Air Station Cecil Field in Florida)
- Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois
- Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina
- Rome Laboratory, New York
- Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C.
- Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
Twenty-six bases are in the process of being re-aligned into twelve joint bases, with each joint base's installation support being led by the Army, the Navy, or the Air Force. 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: No future Base Realignment and Closure round for military installations within the United Sates, its commonwealths, territories, and possessions for realignment or closure shall be authorized until, at the very earliest, the Department of Defense has completed and submitted to Congress a formal review of the overseas military facility structure, which incorporates overseas basing consolidations, an assessment of the need for bases to support overseas contingency operations, and the Department of Defense's Strategic Choices and Management Review.
In May of 2014, it was attempted to fund another round of BRAC, although funding was not approved in a vote in May of that year.
In March of 2015, the Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations and Environment addressed the possibility of a future BRAC, indicating that the DOD is requesting authority to conduct another BRAC.
Base Closure and Realignment Appropriations
Chronological timeline of authorizations for U.S. Congressional legislation related to United States defense installation realignments and military base closures.
|Date of Enactment||Public Law Number||U.S. Statute Citation||U.S. Legislative Bill||U.S. Presidential Administration|
|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|
- Office of the Secretary of Defense, Base Realignment and Closure (DefenseLink.mil), Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports regarding BRAC
- 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 2011-10-12.
- Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission
- "Highlands Radar Site Closing" (PDF). The Daily Register (Red Bank, New Jersey). November 20, 1964. Retrieved 2011-10-12.
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
- http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=266&dat=19730416&id=vqc0AAAAIBAJ&sjid=52gFAAAAIBAJ&pg=1393,5205517 http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2245&dat=19730417&id=tBozAAAAIBAJ&sjid=2TIHAAAAIBAJ&pg=4255,4257487
- 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. ... The year 1988 also saw the first public display of the Air Force’s new penetrating bomber, the B–2
- 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. Retrieved 2013-08-30.
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 ... In late July, a special committee devising scenarios for T-Day, the day hostilities in Vietnam ended, posited that, depending on timing assumptions, anywhere between 30,000 troops and a two-division corps (about 60,000 personnel) might have to remain in South Vietnam indefinitely. ... 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 2013-09-03.
- "Base-Closing Plan Survives Assaults by Some on Hill". CQ Press. CQ Almanac 1989, 45th ed. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly. pp. 470–73.
- Cassata, Donna (April 25, 1990). "34 military bases may face the ax". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. Spartanburg, S.C.: Google News. p. A3.
- "Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission - 1993 Report to the President" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. 1993-07-01. Retrieved 2007-10-23.
- 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.
- NDAA for FY 2014, Title XXVII - Base Realignment and Closure Activities
- Jordan, Bryant (7 May 2014). "House Panel Protects A-10, Pulls BRAC from Budget". Military.com. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
- Marshall, Jr., Tyrone. "Senior DoD Official Testifies on Budget, BRAC". U.S. Department of Defense. Retrieved 22 April 2015.