SEPTEMBER 30, 2015
The Defense Department would be required to prepare force structure plans and an infrastructure assessment that could be used to determine the level of excess capacity in DOD, according to the conference report for the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill released Tuesday.
The bill language does not directly link the analysis to a justification for a new BRAC round, but a summary acknowledges that a new capacity study is needed in light of the department’s repeated requests to hold a new round of base closures.
“The conferees are mindful of DOD concerns that excess basing capacity is a financial drag on the department,” according to a summary from the House Armed Services Committee.
“They are also cognizant of the fact that the most recent capacity survey is more than a decade old, does not reflect the impacts or cost of the most recent BRAC round, and does not account for the probable future force posture. The NDAA proposal directs a new capacity study that reflects the current threat profile and makes conservative assumptions about future end strength,” the summary states.
The final bill language closely follows a provision in the House version, which directs the department to include the capacity study with its FY 2017 budget request and calls for it to submit:
- force structure plans for each of the services;
- an assessment of the probable threats to national security;
- end strength levels and major military force units;
- an inventory of worldwide installations;
- a description of the infrastructure necessary to support the force structure plans;
- a discussion of categories of excess infrastructure and infrastructure capacity; and
- an assessment of the value of retaining certain excess infrastructure to accommodate contingency, mobilization and surge requirements.
The bill also directs the Government Accountability Office to review the force structure plans and infrastructure inventory within 60 days after it is submitted by DOD.
As expected, the compromise version of the annual defense policy measure retains the prohibition against holding a new BRAC round included in the House and Senate versions of the legislation, a view reinforced in the committee summary.
“Conferees are concerned that once an asset is lost through the BRAC process, it can never be regained, or is prohibitively expensive to replace. Hence, they are deeply skeptical that BRAC is in the country’s national security interest,” it states.
The text of the conference report and a summary are available on the committee website.
Shared from Association of Defense Communities.