White House Opposes Base Closure Catch

White House Opposes Base Closure Catch

The White House is objecting to a Senate proposal that would restrict the Defense Department’s ability to begin another round of base closures.

The chamber’s version of the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act, which sets policy goals and spending targets for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1, would require that the Pentagon review its overseas infrastructure before beginning another phase of base realignment and closure, known as BRAC.

The Obama administration “strongly objects” to the provision, saying “the effort to configure our overseas infrastructure in a more efficient way should not prevent the authorization of another round of BRAC analysis for domestic bases,” according to a Nov. 19 statement.

The Pentagon’s proposed budget for 2014 included $2.4 billion in upfront military construction costs for the effort over five years through fiscal 2018. Comptroller Bob Hale has said the bulk of the proposed funding would be spent over three years beginning in fiscal 2016.

The Senate legislation would also require John Conger, the acting deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment, to submit a report on the 2005 joint basing initiative to the congressional defense committees, including the Senate Armed Services Committee, led by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.

Under the program, the Defense Department created a dozen joint bases around the country by consolidating 26 installations that either shared a boundary, or were located close to each other. For example, the Army’s Fort Lewis near Tacoma, Wash., and the Air Force’s McChord Air Force Base became Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

The consolidation of infrastructure was supposed to save money in part by eliminating redundant services to train and equip forces. However, government auditors now say the savings may be minimal because the installations adopted costly new standards for everything from airfield operations to ground maintenance.

The Pentagon’s estimated savings from the effort over two decades has declined almost 90 percent to about $250 million from $2.3 billion, according to an April report from the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno said the service is reviewing its commitment to joint basing, which has been problematic. “It’s time for us to do an assessment,” he said last month during a panel discussion at the Association of the United States Army conference in Washington, D.C.

“Some of us are saying: ‘Are we getting benefits out of it? Is it working? Are we having problems?’ Because in some places, we are having problems with joint basing,” Odierno said. “So we’re taking a hard look at this … then we’ll move forward on what we think the way ahead is.”

The Senate is debating the defense bill this week and plans to vote on the legislation before leaving Nov. 21 for an 11-day Thanksgiving recess. The House of Representatives has already passed its version of the annual defense legislation, including language to block funding to begin the process of shuttering installations.

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I work at JBLM and live just outside the main gate. In two years I have yet to find a reason to go to the McChord side of the base. I have no idea what redundancies they thought there might be at the joint bases since they increased the population by several thousand troops at the same time they did BRAC. We had to build new facilities rather than close any down.

RIF’s, cost of moving personal,equipment, building infrastructure in a time of austere times for the military. It only makes sense that they say they will save money by closing down bases– look how well it worked for the Joint-Basing. As much as i can’t stand this congress, i do understand why they don’t believe one peep of what the General’s and Admirals say about sequestration and what it will do to the military. The only thing sequestration does it take a bite out of the good ol boys wallets and force the DOD to get their head out of their ass and stop lining greedy contractor’s pockets and make GOOD rational business contracts.

What you American ‘dudes’ need to understand first and foremost is, that IF you want to be a ‘nation’ and not a loosely held together UNION, that Senate needs to go. Or the number of Senators needs to be allocated based on population. When a little cr appy state like Wyoming has as many senators as California or Texas, a country can’t move forward. Protecting billions by the tiny states that don’t even need ONE soldier. That can’t happen. So this ‘looking out for my constituents/home state’ nonsense has to end. A senator is there to serve the USA, not Wyoming or Alabama. Or else just kick the little underperforming red states out and go about being a superpower once again.

We’ve got a house of reps that is allocated by population. However, it is poisoned by the jerrymandering system.

I think electing the 100 senators “at large”, across the US might be an interesting experiment. However, it too might be skewed by population.

At the end of the day, all of these problems stem from an inability to put the country ahead of the self. That’s our problem.

Just a little bit off the mark there C.E. We have a bicameral legislature where the states get equal representation in the Senate and population-based representation in the House of Representatives. Senators were originally chosen by state legislatures so they directly represented their states but we eventually changed it to where they were popularly elected just like House members. The shapes of the voting districts have been manipulated over the years so that districts are made up of majority of a particular political party. As a result very few House members ever change. 100% of the House is voted on every two years and one third of the Senate is voted on every 2 years so they have 6 year terms.

“The Obama administration “strongly objects” to the provision, saying “the effort to configure our overseas infrastructure in a more efficient way should not prevent the authorization of another round of BRAC analysis for domestic bases,” according to a Nov. 19 statement”. If you believe another BRAC “Ain’t comin’ around around the bend” I gotta bridge 4 sale in Brooklyn.……p.s.(needs work)

CE: 1st: Wyoming may be the least populated of the U.S. States, but it is by no means “little”,It ranks 9th in sq. mi., 97.89K. in the U.S.….About the size of Romania. 2nd: I spent a summer with my uncle there workin’ his ranch…the BEST summer I ever had in my life…learnin’ how to shoot a 30.30, a man’s handshake was his word, & hard work was the meaning of a good day…& that bell always rang on Sunday morn. You never did tell me what bastion of eutopia u live in CE…ooohhhh so critical of the U.S. You remind me of all those Iranian college students in S.E. CT @ a small 2 yr college…America stinks at this, America stinks at that, until the Shah cut loose.….then it was all; can u get me green card.…maybe visa…my father’s Iranian military, I need asylum.…. I wonder what ever happened to all those punks.…

Clearly we need to close more bases because the DoD is spending money on soldiers that it could be giving to defense contractors. Come on now, what’s more important? Obviously the money needs to go into the pockets of the defense contractors.

Way around congress, is for DOD to STOP stationing large numbers of personnel on bases/camps they want to close, and keep just a caretaker force. Congress keeps cutting DOD’s budget, AND THEN TELLS THEM HOW TO SPEND WHAT IS LEFT! Time someone wised congress up! THEY CAN’T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS!!!

No CE, you are wrong. The biggest problem in US politics is not in the structure. The biggest problem is in the electorate. As Pogo taught us in 1953, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

You are what you eat. And, there seem to be far too many consuming far too much bullshit, rather than putting more effort into better informing their vote from wider and deeper perspective, applying a little critical thinking, and then better exercising their vote.

Instead of ” bullshit “, perhaps I should have substituted the phrase “bovine manure” to get around the profanity filter.

The problem with a BRAC is that it costs money upfront to carry it out and it takes years to see the savings.

Last paragraph is true. But see, you cannot have a system that gives 500k wyomingans ? as much power as 40 million Californians, or 25 million Texans. That is IF you want a ‘country’. If you just want to be a ‘old school’ union, no problem. The founding fathers (i’ve read a lot about them, smart guys) and their successors, could not foresee 2013. They weren’t fortune tellers. At best they looked a century ahead. What did that mean? Kick out British influence, and expand westward, ie: conquer the continent and make it your nation and prosper, and FTW pretty much. Works great in the 1800’s and 1700’s, but we’ve seen that only a strong COUNTRY, ie a strong FEDERAL government can make a fist in foreign policy and economic policy. Hence why you don’t have 50 currencies or 50 militaries, but ONE.

Germany would NEVER!!!!!!! allow it’s clout in the EU be the same as a small nation like Denmark. Thats’s the recipe for gridlock. Hence why you need change.

US militray is still too big. Force structure cuts should result in more bases being closed.

The current “national defense” strategy is that forward deployment is key to keeping the lid on potentially explosive situations. That means foreign bases. If that’s the trade off, then, under sequestration or any other budge cutting strategy, cut MORE domestic bases to match the forward deployment strategy.

I know friend, and I know the reasoning of your founding fathers, and successive congresses that added amendments. But that was NOT 2013. See, if the US as a whole needs to move forward, it has to INevitably, stomp on the interests of perhaps Vermont, or Wyoming etc, because the needs of Texas and California FAR outweigh them. Because they’re huge and populous. And guess what, the weightiests of states should have more clout within the nation. That’s how it moves forward. Let’s say for example you have 40 states building cars, but only 1000 cars per state per year, and you have 10 states that build 100.000 trains per year (or vice versa). In you current system, the 10 produce much more value, but the 40 would block them. And that’s silly, because the US as a whole would be much more served by the most valuable producers.

Pretty much: populous states need much more clout in the union/country. The FF couldn’t foresee 21st century competition and military conflicts/geopolitics. However smart and visionary they were, they weren’t god.

I don’t want to pis s on Wyoming, beautiful state as far as I’ve seen on google, and I’m sure the people are hard working etc. However, KrazyCOL, Wyoming has 500k people give or take, Cali 40.000. That’s 80 times the population. As such, and this is for everybody here, a single Wyomingan (sp) has EIGHTY times as much influence in AMERICAN FEDERAL politics, as a Californian. That is your end game/sum of it. How is that fair? No it isn’t. Just like it’s congress, senators should be divided by population. And indeed, if that means a huge chuck of US land gets just 1 senator (wyoming and environs) vs Cali’s 8/10 senators, that’s GOOD. Not because I am a Cali fanboy, but because 1 man 1 vote. And Cali’s interests ARE indeed more hefty and important than Wyomings. Just because it’s population and economic size. Nothng against your uncle!

BTW, the original $2.3 billion savings from Joint Basing initiative WAS taken out of the DoD budgets when BRAC 5 was approved by the Congress. Those cuts were NOT assigned against the 26 bases being consolidated into 12 Joint Bases, but were absorbed against other DoD programs. So the Defense budget, in an indirect way, DID “save” the money.

Real cuts at the new Joint Bases were delayed and were to be based on savings generated from consolidating contracting and administrative services provided by the bases commanders. This effort was only to report “new” savings once the base consolidations took place, which was near the end of the 5-year BRAC implementation period. While the $250 million savings represents only about 10 percent of the original savings estimate (which mainly invalidates DoD’s computer model-driven, cost savings guessing game) it actually represents “additional” savings from the DoD budget perspective. The taxpayer wins!

Part 2–
Reapplying any savings to higher and often more costly standards for running the bases sucked up the true Joint Basing savings. Any report to Congress should separate out the original Joint Basing savings estimate and actual savings, versus the additive costs for the new standards (which were not part of what Congress approved when they agreed to the Joint Basing initiative). It was a sleight of hand by one of John Conger’s predecessors never openly reported to Congress. Taxpayer loses!

All Army, Navy, AIr Force and Marine Bases or support locations should be closed and their functions moved to the where the troops are, the ships are and the planes are. We have too many little offices spread out over the nation that require tens of thousands of facilties and manamgnet overhead to keep up. Every location that has less then 1500 employees should be moved to the larger bases. Why are there dozens of Air Force bases in Texas? Why are there dozens of Naval SUpport facilities loacated throghout Florida. The problem with the last rounds of BRAC the small military installaitons were let open. All of theselittle locations have staffs of commanders and civilians that can be eliminated saving billions.

Many facilities are where they are for a reason. Imagining the old days when the Roman legionary camp simply /moved/ from place to place is probably over. You need some logistical facilities. I feel that the priority should be to close down the smaller satellite facilities, though it sometimes feels like we are going after the bigger facilities to maximize acreage-returned-to-civilian-use.

To be honest, I’ve been thinking that the states should be repartitioned by population. Many of the low density New England states would become a giant New-England, along with Midwestlandia, but it would certainly allow metropolitan areas more say in things.

Exactly, what’s it with all the north/south dakotas and west this and east that? Sure in the 1800’s or something it was fun, but now? 2 states with a combined population of a midsized California/Texas CITY and have twice the senators of the entire STATE!!! Insane..

It’s not as big a concern as you’d think.

So long as things require a simple majority, a simple majority isn’t too hard to find. A super-majority bogs everything down…

Only in the Senate. Wyomingans still send two guys to confirm treaties and confirm high-ranking government officials, and one house representative.

The electorate is too deeply subscribed to the political theater.

Does he give the middle finger to Bush Jr? Boehner? Pelosi? Obama? Reid? He’s MAH GUY!!!!

Instead of:

“Is he acting in the interests of his constituents in his district, regardless of party orientation?“‘

That said, I wish Congresscritters and the POTUS were “on call” during budget meetings. Lock them into chambers, force a vote, none of this government-operating-without-a-CR-semi-shutdown nonsense, no vacations and FOX News interview soundbites. You’d think it was serious, until you realized how lax their workday was.

Back to the real topic. Congress is aware that Generals want to keep unneeded overseas bases because they love the imperial feel, and are fun to visit. G2mil has a detailed list of bases overseas that should close.

still u no say where u live…ehhhh?.… maybe steetopianstan????

blight, When 1/3 of the electorate doesn’t even show up, then you only have to win 51% of the 2/3’s that do. Do the math! People get the gov’t they deserve.…. we have met the enemy & he is US!

blight: 3 of the 6 “Low Density New England states” rank in the 5 highest pop. density states!

The states are different. Different people, cultures, pop. density, etc. Trying to govern them like they were all alike is what has gotten us here today. The US is a collection of states. We don’t want a EU go fuck yourselves.

Personally I have to wonder why a massive city with millions has the right to tell the entire rest of a area how to live. I think once a city gets above 10% of the total population of a state it gets its own city state status. It gets however many electoral votes it contributed and those go to its total.

Rural America and Urban America are two Entirely different places with different needs and problems. Making a group of Urbanite Metro’s in charge of the problems of a Rural state is rather stupid.

So china and india should rule the world. By that thinking California with MASSIVE unemployment and shit loads of economic and cultural problems is somehow a model of civic virtue and the image we want. Er no.

I am beginning to believe some of our European friends understand neither the point of a Republic or the USA at all.

Your not understanding the Idea behind our system CE. Its not about Democracy its about building a system that can keep the people from becoming slaves to the state.

Each state is in essence its own nation. IT WAS MADE THAT WAY FOR A REASON.

The US military isn’t to big it has to much fat. To many nonsense post. To many admirals and generals. To many fighters not enough infantry.

Don’t put all of your Navy in one freaking harbor. That is the stupidest thing to ever do.

My dear friend, you’re sad to say wrong on so many levels. First, America, like any other western nation is above 80% urban. That includes suburbs. Deal or no deal, rural has F all to say. Do you listen to the few or to the many? As simple as that.

The EU is actually based on the US model, except updated to modern standards (ie. not giving small countries a DISproportionate amount of influence, ie: you want to be in our rich union? give up some rights). IE: if you let Wyoming make a dicision: either give up both senators OR secede, they’d give up the senators, as without the US, Wyoming is nothing (again, no offense to Wyoming, just an example).

Rural make food, that’s their job, and none other. They already get a disproportionate amount of tax dollars in every country, IE: powerlines for hundreds of miles for a few households, also roads internet etc etc. So they cost more per capita already.

Let’s just say, without California, your nation’s GDP decreases by about 15% (they score over their head per capita in money etc). So either give that up, or have them have more say. Idemdito for Texas, New York etc. California disproportionally contributes to America, even if it weren’t so big. It’s about THE center of innovation in the US, and by extension the World. So you should help it, nurture it. There isn’t a second California to be had. Different breed of people there. You could call the the last frontiersmen still.

Holland. As per other thread about Reapers.

What nation is taxed by a suprenational entity? Don’t dream. US States are NOT nations, far from. What nation gets regulations, taxes, investments, police and officials etc etc from a HIGHER entity? The only countries that are anywhere NEAR comparable are EU nations. And we have our own militaries, foreign policy etc. See, we are now where the US was about 150 years ago, unionizing AND expanding.

Are you saying that getting a government contract that guarantees you $1.10 for every $1.00 you spend dragging out development of a weapon is not a good deal for the US taxpayer? Clearly the defense contractor schills will attack you with everything they’ve got, which at this point seems to mean that they viciously click the “thumbs down” button from every computer in their office.

Ok, first CE is not an E. He’s a “progressive” liberal union loving democrat simply stirring the pot and all of you are falling for it. Don’t feed the troll.

Nonsense. Look up the words “progressive” and “liberal” instead of looking to liars to educate you. Dittohead troll.

@Concerned U.S. Senators are not elected to represent or support the interests of the nation. They are elected to represent the interests of their state to the national government.

Your statement reflects your European concept of parliamentary system vice a constitution federal system of government. The Senate represents each state equally and the House represents according to population (the people). This gives the people representation in congress separate from State representation. This also makes the State a sovereign entity with rights and power exceeding that of the Federal government, a UNION. A catch 22 designed by our founders ( The US Constitution) to keep tyrants from dominating the state and the people. The system has worked great for 200 years but now we are being given away by a European type socialist president.

I think you over-estimate the role of the Senate.

You could argue that rural areas cost more in terms of last-mile costs, but urban areas tend to cost more in terms of maintenance and the costs of building out to scale. Millions of people will wear down infrastructure faster than a rural area. Millions of people need a large police force and public services. I’m no fan of Ted Stevens bridge to nowhere, but the spending is symptomatic of politician-greed.

Here in the states we have interesting power dynamics between states. You will probably run into them when Germany flexes its muscle, or if someday in the future Russia, Ukraine and the CIS joins the EU.

How are the needs of Vermont and Texas/California mutually exclusive?

They don’t show up because they don’t care. That’s the scary part.

Up-or-out that creates a natural upwards gradient of the ranks…it’s almost inevitable the top end bloats up.

Dozens of Air Force Bases? So, like 24 or 36? Name 12.….

I’m not sure if its a lack of “caring” or just a case of how sick people are “negative attack ad politics”. Tear down the challenger.…don’t hold me accountable to my record of my last term. I think it turns away many highly capable, skilled problem solving people who don’t want their personal lives, families etc. put through that B.S.!

Hey “european” ’ metrosexual ’ if youre a non european brit didnt we kick your asses back in the late 1700s and kick you out and if you are on the continent didnt us constitusionalist ‘dudes’ save your asses a few years back from the germans… twice?Oh yeah and the soviets for about 45 years during the cold war? Finally if you knew shit from shinola about how and why our God based constitution was written you would understand this country is about states who get their power from the God given rights of the people not a dictatorial federal government.All of our military,politicians , police etc swear an oath to protect and defend the constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic not the federal government!!! We need the senate as constructed by our founders not a bunch of socialist europeans who couldnt even protect themselves from would be conquerers and get their rights from men who can redefine your rights at will.Remember the Holocust , the gulags and hundreds of millions tourtuered and murdered by man made,man defined socialist/communist governments?

Phil, if they didn’t line greedy contractor’s pockets where would they get jobs when they retired from the military?

The House represents the people, Senators are suppose to represent the states. In fact the people did not vote for Senators until recent times. Senator were elected or appointed by their states office holders.

Close or downsize significantly all the Bases/Posts in Germany. What a total waste, shipping all those families and HHG, maintaining schools and the stupid MALL at Country Club Ramstein AB. Do you know that we ship Culligan water to Germany? Unbelievable. Don’t cut Vet’s benefits, cut all the crap in Germany!

HAP benefits have been a tirferic solution for many military families. The program is now working on recovery funds and the possibility of additional funding to keep the program going seems slim. I suspect we will see more military families forced into short sales even though they may have been qualified for HAP as the funds run out.

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