If you haven't seen the entire list by state as well as which bases are gaining jobs and which ones are being realigned (as opposed to closed entirely)...here is the file.
Bottom line: It appears to be a pretty decent list. No real surprises.
Here is what FoxNews is reporting:
Aside from the 33 bases recommended for closure, another 29 based are being recommended for realignment. More than 775 other smaller military installations, including National Guard and Reserve facilities, will also be closed or realigned, according to the recommendations...
...White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters Friday that the president was aware of the base closures and said the administration supports the process established by the Defense Department as to what happens next.
"This is the recommendation by the secretary of defense. There is a process in place, and there are steps in the process. It will now go to the [BRAC] commission. Then it will go to the president after that," McClellan said.
McClellan said base closings are a necessary, if painful, part of transforming the military into a force matched to modern demands.
"We want to make sure that our troops, particularly those in combat, have all the resources they need to do their job," he said. But the White House, well aware of the dread in many communities, is focused on helping affected towns move on, with federal assistance available through the Defense, Labor and Commerce departments, he said.
There is lots more detail on the Official DoD BRAC website.
A few things now that I think about it:
First, remember, previous BRAC commissions have accepted 85 percent of bases the Pentagon recommended for closure or consolidation. That means there will be fight this summer for as much as 15% of whatever is left. Watch the politics and if you see any changes on the list, ask yourself, "what else is going on/what is being traded?"
- A crucial vote on the filibuster
- A nominee to the federal bench, U.N. or other post
- Social Security Reform
- A controversial bill (energy, transportation or immigration)
- A crucial spending bill (budget)
- Supplemental appropriation for the Global War on Terror
Second, I understand the government is supposed to "save" $48.8 billion over 20 years...heh heh heh. Does anyone remember what happened to the $29 billion "saved" in previous BRAC rounds? Anyone? Bueller, Bueller?
Does anyone remember it ended up costing the government more money to clean up the bases they closed (i.e., environmental restoration) before they could be turned over to the communities.
Third, is the $48 billion in current-year or then-year dollars? Even if you use the standard 3% government inflation rate for O&M...it doesn't really matter because it is all funny money anyway...will your tax bill be any less?
I don't mean to sound cynical. In fact, I think the BRAC is a great thing to do. Remember how I feel about both effectiveness and efficiency (see previous post). We need to close these bases and realign others.
I just have to snicker when I hear about the government "saving" money or that this BRAC process will limit the amount of politics being played. Stay tuned for more.