After six years and almost $18 billion, Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) 2005 is finalized. The deadline for compliance was Sept. 15.
The Army was responsible for 47 percent of the Department of Defense (DoD) BRAC 2005 program – resulting in the service’s largest organizational transformation since World War II – which also means that the service relocated more than 250,000 soldiers and their families, along with more than 20,000 Army civilian positions, to comply with BRAC 2005.
At Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), Md., the Army spent more than $1 billion on construction, added 2.8 million square feet of facilities and 18 buildings, demolished 140 structures, improved 9 miles of roads, and upgraded electric, water, and information technology infrastructure.
All the work there was part of a successful effort to complete the congressionally mandated Base Realignment and Closure legislation approved in 2005. While the Army bore the largest burden, BRAC affected all of DoD.
The relocation of so many people affected not just those who had to move, but the communities surrounding installations too. BRAC efforts at APG, for example, brought some 11 organizations there from other installations.
The Army Communications-Electronics Command had 69 percent of its 7,200-member workforce make the move to APG from Fort Monmouth, N.J.
The commanding general at APG, Maj. Gen. Nick G. Justice, commended local community leaders and county and state officials for engaging and supporting the post as it renewed itself by shutting down elements and welcoming others.
“They literally went out of their way to encourage people to come down and do pre-location visits here – to Baltimore, surrounding towns, communities – [and to] look at housing and schools by providing bus service,” he said, noting that most of the workforce at APG was civilian-based.
The Army shuttered 12 active-component installations, one Reserve facility, and 387 National Guard Readiness and Army Reserve Centers. Also, the Army reduced occupancy in eight leased facilities, and also returned more than 70,000 acres of excess property and facilities to local communities, towns, and states for redevelopment.
New construction that consolidated bases took place in Maryland and Virginia, while closures in the Northeast included Fort Monmouth, Fort Monroe, Va., and Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. The Army’s hospital was consolidated with the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., renamed the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Additionally, a $1.03 billion community hospital was constructed at Fort Belvoir, Va. That facility spans 1.3 million square feet and features 120 beds with 55 primary and specialty care clinics, as well as primary- and secondary-level care. The hospital uses 30 percent less energy than the medical facilities it replaced. More than 3,200 employees will manage the 1,500 patient visits each day.
In Springfield, Va., the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) completed the second-largest office building it has ever constructed – the 2.4-million-square-foot National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s Campus East facility. Only the Pentagon is larger.
USACE also constructed the tallest structure it has ever built in Alexandria, Va. – the 17-floor Mark Center. While the Army completed its job on time in the construction, Defense Department occupants have yet to completely fill the building. The complex meets the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® Gold standard and uses 40 percent less water and 30 percent less energy than its legacy facilities.
Other BRAC Facts:
- 102 congressionally approved Army BRAC recommendations
- 1,147 separate Army actions to meet legislative mandates
- $13.5 billion planning, design and construction program consisting of 440 projects; $0.3 billion to fund environmental projects; and $3.9 billion for computers, furniture, equipment, and permanent change of station moves – have freed up property, lowered financial costs, and reduced the size of the work force that makes military and civilians available for other assignments
- The Army’s largest command, U.S. Army Forces Command and the generating force provider for combatant commanders, moved from Fort McPherson, Ga., to Fort Bragg, N.C., in July, relocating 2,800 headquarters staff members
- The U.S. Materiel Command (AMC) Headquarters moved to Redstone Arsenal, Ala., from Fort Belvoir, Va., completing the move in April
- 30 BRAC actions across the command closed ammunition plants, chemical demilitarization sites, realigned depot maintenance functions, and reconstituted new laboratories and administrative spaces. The action affected one in every six AMC employees, roughly 11,000 across 25 states. AMC also consolidated into four centers of gravity at Huntsville, Ala., Rock Island, Ill., Warren, Mich., and APG.
- AMC reduced its leased space by more than 235,000 square feet
- $2.6 billion went toward realigning the Reserve Command (USAR) and control structure. BRAC resulted in the Army Reserve closing 176 older USAR facilities while 125 new joint and multi-component Reserve centers opened