The Defense Department would be required to assess whether it has a surplus or deficit of infrastructure using a more deliberate method than the parametric analysis it relied on for its most recent estimates of excess capacity, under language in House Armed Services Chair Mac Thornberry’s portion of the fiscal 2019 defense authorization bill. The provision requires DOD to prepare and submit to lawmakers by February 2020:
- a force structure plan for each service that is based on an assessment of probable threats to national security, and end strength levels and major military force units required under the FY 2018 defense authorization bill;
- a “categorical model” of installation capabilities needed to carry out the force structure plans based on the infrastructure, real property and facilities capabilities required and the current military requirements of the major military units.
The second part of Section 2812 calls for DOD to:
- assess the requirements needed to carry out the force structure plans compared to existing infrastructure, real property and facilities capabilities; and
- identify any deficit or surplus in infrastructure for each military department, and for locations within the continental United States.
The summary of the chairman’s mark acknowledges it does not authorize a new BRAC round as Thornberry remains concerned that DOD “does not have a full and accurate accounting of its real property or a realistic assessment of its excess capacity.” Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told lawmakers he does not believe the department’s existing assessment of its excess infrastructure is accurate, it adds.
The Armed Services Committee will mark up Thornberry’s proposal, along with each of the subcommittee marks, in a marathon session starting today.