BY WAYNE CRENSHAW
Congress probably won’t approve a new round of base closures this year, but it could happen next year, an advocate for Robins Air Force Base told community leaders Tuesday.
Dan Rhoades, the new director of strategy for the 21st Century Partnership, said the National Defense Authorization Act that the Senate approved Monday night did not include a proposed amendment allowing a new Base Realignment and Closure Commission, or BRAC.
Speaking to a meeting of the partnership at the Museum of Aviation, Rhoades said House and Senate members still have to meet to reconcile differences between versions of the bill that each body passed. But he said he does not expect a BRAC will be approved this year.
“It could always come back up,” Rhoades said. “If it doesn’t happen this year, I suspect it will happen next year. There’s a building support within both the House and the Senate to move forward.
“A lot of what you are seeing in the language in both the House and the Senate is how we are going to do BRAC, not whether we are going to do BRAC.”
The Department of Defense has called for a new BRAC — which includes a detailed assessment of all military properties — for the past five years, saying that it has excess infrastructure due to downsizing. Congress has authorized five rounds of BRAC since 1988.
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