The second-ranking officers in the Army and Air Force today declared their support for a new round of base closures.
Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Dan Allyn and Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen Wilson testified before the House Armed Services Committee that closing excess infrastructure would allow reinvestment in overdue maintenance at other facilities and help address other fiscal challenges.
Wilson estimated the Air Force has 25 percent excess capacity, while Allyn speculated that the Army, based on a larger force of 490,000 active duty troops (President Trump has said he wants to go as high as 540,000), has 21 percent unneeded infrastructure.
They were asked about their views about a new Base Realignment and Closure process by Rep. Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam).
“BRAC would help us to do smart investment,” Wilson said. “We can take the money we’re spending on the excess infrastructure and put that back into solving some of our fiscal problems.”
“We save year over year, annually, one billion dollars from the  BRAC that took place,” Allyn said. “So it’s real money that we really need to reinvest into the deferred maintenance and infrastructure backlog that we have.”
Allyn estimated the Army has a backlog of $11 billion in infrastructure maintenance, while Wilson said the Air Force’s backlog totals $25 billion.
Assistant Marine Corps commandant Gen. Glenn Walters added “We think we’re about right” on infrastructure, but the service would “see if there’s any savings” in a BRAC.