SENATE COMMITTEE SLAMS BRAC REQUEST
The Senate Armed Services Committee said it remains opposed to another round of base closures at a time when the military is slated to expand and modernize, and budget constraints dictate that “precious resources” be directed toward enhancing overall readiness, according to the report accompanying its version of the fiscal 2018 defense authorization bill. “The committee must understand what our future force structure will look like — its size and composition, how it will train, and the infrastructure required to sustain it — before we consider another BRAC round,” the report stated.
The bill includes one sentence stating that the measure does not authorize a new round of base closures, mirroring language added to the House version during its committee markup. In its FY 2018 budget request, the Trump administration requested authority to hold a BRAC in 2021. The committee’s rejection comes after Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) earlier this year said he and ranking member Jack Reed (D-R.I.) were seriously considering the prospect of holding a new round of base closures.
The committee said it is concerned that DOD has not yet provided the force structure plan, infrastructure inventory and the assessment of infrastructure necessary to support the force structure that Congress called for in the FY 2016 defense authorization bill. “This congressionally directed report with requirements based on our military’s ability to deter and defeat future threats is necessary in order to evaluate any future base realignment and closure round,” the lawmakers stated.