2013 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: Fri, 28 Jun 2013 11:47:47 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] CLOSURE: GAO report on non-BRAC closures and realignments
Military Bases: DOD Has Processes to Comply with Statutory Requirements for Closing or Realigning Installations

Government Accountability Office
Jun 27, 2013

For the original Highlights and link to the full report, go to

What GAO Found

The Department of Defense (DOD) and the military services have processes to meet statutory requirements for base closures and realignments, and use these processes hundreds of times each year to make basing decisions outside of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process. These processes provide guidance for all types of basing actions, including, but not limited to base closures and realignments. For example, basing decisions can include actions such as reductions in force, disestablishments, renaming a command, and other organization changes. Generally, each service's basing decision process uses similar criteria, scope, and methodologies to determine where to locate its force structure, and each process is documented in established guidance. Each service's process requires a series of analyses, such as analysis of capability and capacity, cost estimates, and environmental considerations. Additionally, each service basing decision process includes legal reviews and an evaluation of the effect on civilian personnel. According to service officials, these reviews provide them data to determine whether a closure or realignment is above thresholds established in section 2687 of Title 10, U.S. Code (hereafter 10 U.S.C. 2687), and therefore subject to additional evaluations and congressional notification. Specific statutory thresholds include:

closure of any installation with 300 or more direct-hire DOD civilian authorized positions (this includes all authorized positions, regardless of whether they are vacant or filled); and

realignment of any installation with 300 or more direct-hire DOD civilian authorized positions (vacant or filled), if the realignment will reduce the installation by 1,000 or more civilian positions, or 50 percent or more of the total civilian authorized positions.

DOD has conducted closures or realignments that have either fallen below the thresholds of 10 U.S.C. 2687 or were authorized by the BRAC process, according to DOD officials. For example, the January 2011 disestablishment of Joint Forces Command was a basing decision that, according to DOD, reduced civilian personnel and eliminated functions at multiple installations, but did not require evaluations and congressional notification pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 2687. Specifically, one of the installations affected by the disestablishment of Joint Forces Command was Naval Support Activity Norfolk, Virginia--the installation where Joint Forces Command was headquartered. Naval Support Activity Norfolk had approximately 3,200 civilian personnel at the time of the disestablishment, of which 1,058 (about 33 percent) were Joint Forces Command personnel. According to DOD, a significant number of Joint Forces Command functions and positions were eliminated through a reduction in force--an action that is not subject to 10 U.S.C. 2687--and the remainder were part of a realignment of Naval Support Activity Norfolk that fell below the statutory thresholds of 1,000 authorized civilian personnel or 50 percent of the total civilian personnel authorized to be employed at the installation. Officials also told us they do not anticipate any future closures or realignments pursuant to this statute, citing BRAC as the preferred method for implementing basing actions that are above statutory thresholds.


Lenny Siegel
Executive Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
a project of the Pacific Studies Center
278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918

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