What is BRAC?

“BRAC” is an acronym that stands for Base Realignment and Closure. It is the congressionally authorized process DoD has previously used to reorganize its base structure to more efficiently and effectively support our forces, increase operational readiness and facilitate new ways of doing business. (The original legislation actually states that the title of the process is Base Closure and Realignment.)

Is Robins Air Force Base at risk of being BRAC’d?

Every installation in the Department of Defense is at risk during the next round of Base Realignments and Closures. We expect the next round to be in 2018 or 2019, or perhaps both, although the Congress has not yet authorized any new rounds. Each of the Services have indicated they have between 20 and 25 percent excess infrastructure today and that a BRAC is necessary to eliminate that excess.

Specifically, for Robins AFB, reductions in the Air Force’s inventory of aircraft has reduced the needed industrial capacity for maintaining the remaining aircraft fleet. Further reductions are expected which could drive the Air Force’s requirement for “Depots” like at Robins AFB below the current number of three…there is a real threat to Robins.

Although it is impossible to BRAC-proof an installation, bases and communities can help their chances of surviving a BRAC (and actually growing as Robins AFB did during the 2005 BRAC) by focusing on specific actions:

All organizations on the installation need to be performing at their best;
Installation labor and management must have a single focus…to produce the best possible product, on time, and at the lowest possible cost;
Communities need to understand their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats…taking advantage of their strengths and opportunities while mitigating their weaknesses and threats;
Communities must be working with their installation to reduce as much as possible base operating costs; and
Elected officials at all levels must be aggressively removing barriers to efficiently operating installations and effectively taking care of the military and civilian workforce that work, live, and play on their installations.

What are we doing to get ready for a BRAC?

The Partnership has commissioned the Middle Georgia Regional Commission to compile 15 detailed “BRAC” studies that will incrementally be released between March 31st and June 30th of 2013. The studies are evaluating areas of critical importance, that the Air Force and Department of Defense will also likely evaluate when considering bases for new mission growth or realignment. Topics range from education, transportation, and encroachment, to air quality, and veterans services. Most importantly, these studies stratify our performance in these areas against 12 other depots within the U.S. – our likely competitors in a BRAC situation. We look forward to keeping you informed about the results of these studies, and providing a tangible evaluation on where we are as a region, and where we need to be.

Why is DoD transforming?

Over time, the defense strategy calls for the transformation of the U.S. defense establishment. Transformation is at the heart of this strategy. To transform DoD, we need to change its culture in many important areas. Our budgeting, acquisition, personnel, and management systems must be able to operate in a world that changes rapidly. Without change, the current defense program will only become more expensive in the future, and DoD will forfeit many of the opportunities available today.

How is BRAC transformational?

BRAC provides a singular opportunity to reshape our infrastructure to optimize military readiness. The BRAC process will help find innovative ways to consolidate, realign, or find alternative uses for current facilities to ensure that the U.S. continues to field the best-prepared and best-equipped military in the world. It will also enable the U.S. military to better match facilities to forces, meet the threats and challenges of a new century, and make the wisest use of limited defense dollars.

What benefit does the Department anticipate from a future BRAC round?

The Department will be able to divest itself of unnecessary installation infrastructure and use the resultant savings for improving fighting capabilities and quality of life for military forces. This will allow the Department to rationalize installation infrastructure with 21st century national security imperatives.

How will a future round of BRAC be different from past rounds?

Because there have been 5 previous rounds of BRAC, the nature of the excess capacity has changed. Most of the excess capacity today is more fragmented, and often in the form of underused facilities. This suggests that savings can be achieved by sharing facilities to a greater extent. Excess capacity is defined as underused or unused facilities and/or infrastructure. Today, greater emphasis is being placed on reshaping the Department as opposed to simple cost cutting. There also is greater emphasis on jointness–selecting the appropriate organizations from two or more services to share facilities in the right location can significantly improve combat effectiveness while reducing costs. It also generates a more powerful military through appropriate basing. Jointness at every level will play a much greater role in future rounds of BRAC.

Check out our BRAC Topics page for articles related to BRAC.