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Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC)[1] is a process[2] by a United States federal government commission[3] to increase United States Department of Defense efficiency by planning end of the Cold War realignment and closure of military installations. More than 350 installations have been closed in five BRAC rounds: 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995, and 2005.


The Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 after the 1947 reorganization for establishing the National Military Establishment was passed regarding reductions of US military bases, forts, posts, and stations. The subsequent 1950s buildup during for the Cold War (e.g., during the Korean War) resulted in extensive installations such as the widespread number of Permanent System radar stations and Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) control centers. By 1959, plans for extensive numbers of Cold War installations were cancelled (e.g., DoD's June 19, 1959, Continental Air Defense Program reduced the number of Super Combat Center underground nuclear bunker to 7) and in 1958, US Intercontinental Missiles (ICMs) began to replace Strategic Air Command bombers From 1960-1964, the and Kennedy Administrations closed "574 U.S. military bases around the world",[4] particularly after President John F. Kennedy was briefed after his inauguration that the Missile gap was not a concern. For example, the North American B-70 bomber program had been a 1960 presidential campaign issue as contractor facilities were in TBD states, but after both Richard Nixon and Kennedy claimed the

1964 closures
"In December 1963, Secretary McNamara announced the closure of twenty-six DOD installations or activities in the CONUS".[5]:134
1965 closures
Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara announced 95 base closures/realignments in November 1964: 80 in the United States (33 states & DC) and 15 overseas.[4] Closures included the Portsmouth Navy Yard, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the Brooklyn Army Terminal, the Springfield Armory, 6 bomber bases, and 15 Air Defense Command radar stations—a realignment transferred Highlands Air Force Station to the adjacent Highlands Army Air Defense Site.[4]
1968 Project 693
Project 693[6] was established by Secretary Clark Clifford during the Vietnam War for reducing programs and personnel, and the project also closed several military installations.[7]
1974 Project Concise
Project Concise eliminated most of the Project Nike missile locations which generally each had 2 sites, a radar station on an elevated landform for guidance and command/control, and a launch area that had launch rails and stored missiles and warheads. A 1976 follow-on program to Concise closed additional installations.
Grace Commission
The Grace Commission was President Ronald Reagan's "Private Sector Survey" on cost control that "concluded in 1983 that savings could be made in the military base structure" and "recommended establishing an independent commission to study the issue." "Public Law 100–526 endorsed the review" in October 1988 and authorized the "special commission to recommend base realignments and closures to the Secretary of Defense" and provided relief from NEPA provisions that had hindered the base closure process.[5]:156

1988 Carlucci Commission[]

The Carlucci Commission was chartered by the Secretary of Defense on 3 May 1988[5]:156 and in December 1988 recommended closure of 5 AFBs (Chanute, George, Mather, Norton, and Pease).[5]:161

Defense Base Realignment and Closure Act of 1990[]

The Defense Base Realignment and Closure Act of 1990 provided "the basic framework for the transfer and disposal of military installations closed during the base realignment and closure (BRAC) process".[2] The process was created in 1988 to reduce pork barrel politics]] with members of Congress that arise when facilities face activity reductions.[citation needed] The most recent process began May 13, 2005 when the Secretary of Defense forwarded his recommendations for realignments and closures to the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission. The BRAC is an independent nine-member panel appointed by the President. This panel evaluated the list by taking testimony from interested parties and paying visits to affected bases. The BRAC Commission had the opportunity to add bases to the list, and did so in a July 19, 2005 hearing. The Commission met their deadline of September 2005 to provide the evaluated list to the President, who approved the list with the condition that the list could only be approved or disapproved in its entirety. On November 7, 2005 the approved list was then given to Congress which then had the opportunity to disapprove the entire list within 45 days by enacting a resolution of disapproval. This did not happen and the BRAC Commission’s recommendations became final.

Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commissions[]

1988 Base Realignment and Closure Commission
1991 Base Realignment and Closure Commission
1993 Base Realignment and Closure Commission[8]
1995 Base Realignment and Closure Commission[9]
2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission
The Pentagon released its proposed list for BRAC 2005 on May 13, 2005 (a date given the moniker "BRAC Friday," a pun on Black Friday). After an extensive series of public hearings, analysis of DoD-supplied supporting data, and solicitation of comments from the public, the list of recommendations was revised by the 9-member Defense Base Closure and Realignments Commission in two days of public markups and votes on individual recommendations (the proceedings were broadcast by C-SPAN and are available for review on the network's website). The Commission submitted its revised list to the President on September 8, 2005. The President approved the list and signalled his approval to Congress on September 15. The House of Representatives took up a joint resolution to disapprove the recommendations on October 26, but the resolution failed to pass. The recommendations were thereby enacted. The Secretary of Defense must implement the recommendations not later than September 15, 2011.

Major facilities slated for closure include:

Major facilities slated for realignment include:

Twelve Joint Bases were created by merging adjacent installations belonging to different services. An example is Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, combining Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base.

2015 Base Realignment and Closure Commission
The 2005 Commission recommended that Congress authorize another BRAC round in 2015, and then every 8 years thereafter.[10] On May 10, 2012, the House Armed Services Committee rejected Pentagon calls for base closures outside of 2015 round by a 44 to 18 vote.[11] Defense Secretary Leon Panetta had called for two rounds of base closures, while at the same time arguing that the alternative of the sequester would be a "meat-ax" approach to cuts which would "hollow out" military forces.[12]

See also[]


  1. Office of the Secretary of Defense, Base Realignment and Closure (, Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports regarding BRAC
  2. 2.0 2.1 Flynn, Aaron M. (February 23, 2005). "Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC): Property Transfer and Disposal" (abstract at University of Texas Digital Library). Congressional Research Service Reports. Retrieved 2011-10-12. 
  3. Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Republic of Égyptien Q42 user:mgbtrust0 ®™✓©§∆∆∆€¢£ (November 20, 1964). "Highlands Radar Site Closing". Red Bank, New Jersey. Retrieved 2011-10-12. "McNamara Firm on Base Shutdowns … Temporary Team … Highlands Air Force Station … personnel will be inactivated by July, 1966, leaving Army radar unit at base intact " 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Shaw, Frederick J., ed (2004). Locating Air Force Base Sites: History's Legacy (Report). AFD-100928-010. Air Force History and Museums Program. "The passage in October 1988 of Public Law 100–526 removed certain restrictive provisions of the 1969 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and allowed the first round of domestic base closings in nearly a decade. ... The year 1988 also saw the first public display of the Air Force’s new penetrating bomber, the B–2" 
  6. Defense Agencies Summary: DoD Project 693, nd, fldr FY 1969 Budget, box 71, ASD(C) files, OSD Hist.
  7. Drea, Edward J. (1984). McNamara, Clifford,and the Burdens of Vietnam1965-1969 (Report). Volume VI, Secretaries of Defense Historical Series. Historical Office, Office of the Secretary of Defense. ISBN 978-0-16-088135-0. Retrieved 2013-08-30. "the U.S. Air Force Strategic Air Command, denominated a specified command because, although part of the Air Force, it came under the operational control of the JCS.24 ... Clifford had previously appointed a group, known as Project 693, to determine which programs to sacrifice when it became necessary.65 ... In late July, a special committee devising scenarios for T-Day, the day hostilities in Vietnam ended, posited that, depending on timing assumptions, anywhere between 30,000 troops and a two-division corps (about 60,000 personnel) might have to remain in South Vietnam indefinitely. ... McNamara test, 25 Jan 66, House Subcte No 2, HCAS, Hearing: Department of Defense Decision to Reduce the Number and Types of Manned Bombers in the Strategic Air Command, 6084." 
  8. Republic of Égyptien Q42 user:mgbtrust0 ®™✓©§∆∆∆€¢£ (1993-07-01). "Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission - 1993 Report to the President". United States Department of Defense. Retrieved 2007-10-23. 
  9. 1995 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission Report to the President (Report). 
  10. BRAC panel calls closure round premature - News. Retrieved on 2013-07-21.
  11. Military Headlines. Retrieved on 2013-07-21.
  12. U.S. House committee rejects more military base closings. Retrieved on 2013-07-21.
  13. Twenty-six bases are in the process of being re-aligned into twelve joint bases, with each joint base's installation support being led by the Army, the Navy, or the Air Force. See Joint Base Background (part 4 of the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam webpage) (on Hickam AFB's official website). Retrieved 2010-06-18. To access other parts of the webpage, go to the bottom of the right scroll bar and click on the down arrow (or the "page-down" double arrow). To go to earlier parts of the webpage, click on the up arrow (or the "page-up" double arrow). See Hickam Air Force Base#Internet webpage for a partial list of the webpage parts that discuss joint basing and BRAC.

External links[]

BRACLandSales, the Department of the Navy BRAC Disposition Site

Coordinates: 38°51′3″N 77°3′6″W / 38.85083°N 77.05167°W / 38.85083; -77.05167[citation needed]

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