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Excess Capacity Little Changed since Last BRAC DOD Installations Official Says

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR Excess capacity throughout DOD likely stands at about 20 percent, Pete Potochney, acting assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and environment, told the House Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee on Thursday.That figure could change slightly, however, as a “DOD-wide parametric analysis” is still underway, according to the written testimony Potochney submitted to the panel.Two of the services recently conducted their own assessments, with the Army determining that 21 percent of its capacity is excess to its needs and the Air Force pegging its ratio at 30 percent.A new BRAC round will save about $2 billion annually, with savings paying for the estimated $7 billion in implementation costs by the end of the six-year phase-in period. A new round — which the Pentagon wants to conduct in 2019 — would be “efficiency-focused,” unlike the 2005 round of base closures.“We are in a tough budget situation,” Potochney told lawmakers, reported Air Force Times. “We need to make tough choices. And we need a BRAC.”Installation officials are finding ways to close some facilities to save on maintenance costs, he said, but a base closure round will be needed to secure significant savings.In his written testimony, Potochney urged lawmakers to preserve the basic principles of the BRAC process — “treating all bases equally, all or none review by both the president and Congress, an independent commission, the priority of military value, and a clear legal obligation to implement all of the recommendations in a time certain together with all the authorities needed to accomplish implementation (specifically MILCON).”Still, the department would be open to including changes in legislation authorizing a new base closure round to ensure it “remains focused on recommendations that save money quickly and limit pursuit of costly recommendations,” he stated.Written testimony and a webcast of the hearing on the installations, environment and energy budget request submitted by DOD and the military services are available on the committee website.last_img read more