BRAC May Emphasize ‘Realignment’ over ‘Closure’
BRAC may emphasize ‘realignment’ part (The Hill)
It is less than three weeks until the Pentagon announces its recommendations for base closings and realignments, but analysts and insiders say this yearÃ¢€™s list could be markedly different from those in the past. With an eye on military transformation and interservice planning and preparation, Pentagon leaders are expected to recommend far more base realignments, perhaps softening blows to communities, department employees and lawmakers worried about the devastating economic impacts of completely shutting down installations.
As opposed to a full closure, a base realignment expands or reduces the number of personnel at a certain installation, often consolidating missions at one or a handful of bases. In this go-around, that could mean creating joint offices and bases, a key piece of Defense Secretary Donald RumsfeldÃ¢€™s transformation plans.
Ã¢€œWe will see a stronger mark here by the secretary of defense to ensure that there is a correlation between the force structure as he envisions it for the future and the infrastructure to support that force structure,Ã¢€ said Charlie Battaglia, chief of staff of the independent Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission, which will analyze the PentagonÃ¢€™s recommendations over the summer. Ã¢€œThatÃ¢€™s why weÃ¢€™re seeing an emphasis on realignment instead of closure.Ã¢€
Interesting. Realignment makes a lot of sense, of course. The Army, in particular, though has a lot of tiny bases that are expensive to maintain and largely superfluous. It makes sense to consolidate operations at large maneuver bases. Tiny installations like Carlisle Barracks in Pennsylvania are often charming but their functions could easily be absorbed by larger posts.