BRAC Consolidates Defense Investigation Agencies

Because of its sheer size, the full implications of the BRAC recommendations released yesterday will take a while to absorb. Richard Gardner found this on page 250 of Volume I, Part 2:

Co-locate Military Department Investigation Agencies with DoD Counterintelligence and Security Agency [PDF]

This recommendation produces operational synergies by locating entities with similar or related missions (CIFA, DSS, NCIS AFOSI, & CID) at one place. Proximity to nearby Federal Bureau of Investigations offices and training facilities will further enhance this effect. In addition, it collocates a CIFA component with headquarters U.S. Northern Command, to which the component provides direct war fighting and homeland security support.

This recommendation also collapses CIFA and DSS and consolidates their activities into a new agency at Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA. It meets important DoD objectives with regard to future use of leased space, consolidation of headquarters operations at single locations, enhanced security for DoD activities, and consolidates National Capital Region (NCR) intelligence community activities. It also enables the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Act of 2004 and the Remodeling Defense Intelligence initiative.


Co-location of military department investigation activities meets a primary DoD objective to rationalize the presence of DoD activities within the NCR. The relocation to a military installation that is largely outside the boundaries of the NCR provides a dispersion of DoD activities away from a dense concentration within the NCR. This action will free up approximately 510,000 Gross Square Feet of administrative space that can be reused by other DoD activities that require a location closer to the Pentagon. It reduces the number of locations from three to one.

As with the consolidation of military medicine, this is simply brilliant and long overdue. Indeed, General George Marshall, then Army Chief of Staff, proposed doing all of this in 1943. It’s taken awhile!

Acronymn Decoder:

As with everything on the BRAC recommendations list, a caveat that it will still be reviewed by a commission and must be passed by Congress applies. That said, this one is pretty much a no brainer. There will likely be a handful of bases saved by the commission but there is not much of a constituency for averting consolidation of support functions.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.