The Base Realignment and Closure program is the congressionally
authorized process the Department of Defense uses to reorganize
its base structure to more efficiently and effectively support
our forces, increase operational readiness and facilitate new
ways of doing business.
The commission is an independent body made up of nine members,
including a chairman. The commission is responsible for reviewing
the Defense secretary's recommendations for BRAC 2005. The Base
Closure and Realignment Act specifies that the president must
consult with the congressional leadership on nominations to serve
on the commission.
On April 1, 2005 President George W. Bush used his recess-appointment
power to approve the nominations of eight individuals to be members
of the Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission: James
Bilbray of Nevada, Philip Coyle of California, Ret. Navy Admiral
Harold Gehman Jr. of Virginia, James Hansen of Utah, Ret. Army
Gen. James Hill of Florida, Ret. Air Force Gen. Lloyd Warren Newton
of Connecticut, Samuel Knox Skinner of Illinois and Ret. Air Force
Brig. Gen. Sue Ellen Turner of Texas. The president nominated
Anthony J. Principi, former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, to
chair the commission.
Underused or unused facilities and/or infrastructure.
A military installation is a facility directly owned and operated
by or for the military or one of its branches. They can range
from small outposts to military cities containing up to 100,000
BRAC 2005 is focusing on "jointness" --selecting the appropriate
organizations from two or more services to share facilities in
the right location to improve combat effectiveness while reducing
Joint resolution of disapproval
If the president approves the recommendations of the BRAC commission,
the list goes to Congress, where senators and representatives
have 45 "legislative days" to enact a joint resolution of disapproval.
If they do not, then the list becomes law.
Installation closure where the physical plant of the base is worth
$100 million or more.
Installation that will gain more than 400 personnel, military
Installation that will lose more than 400 personnel, military
Regional commission meetings
The BRAC commission has planned public meetings around the country
that will give regular citizens as well as local and national
politicians a chance to discuss the list of proposed changes.
According to the Defense Department's April 2003 Transformation
Planning Guidance document, transformation is "a process that
shapes the changing nature of military competition and cooperation
through new combinations of concepts, capabilities, people and
organizations that exploit our nation's advantages and protect
against our asymmetric vulnerabilities to sustain our strategic
position, which helps underpin peace and stability in the world."