Quick Takeaways

  • Since 1988, the Department of Defense has lead five successful rounds of Base Closure and Realignment at military bases throughout the country.
  • The closing of bases has impacts on the communities they are situated in, but the DoD, HUD, and the EPA all work to help ensure the healthy and equitable survivable of those communities.
  • There are real estate opportunities as a result of base closings, including commercial property opportunities for businesses.

“Since 1977, statutory thresholds have effectively constrained the President’s ability to close or realign major military installations in the United States. Congress has instead periodically granted temporary authorities—known as a Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC)—that have established independent commissions for the review and approval of basing changes submitted by the Secretary of Defense. These unique and transient authorities last expired on April 16, 2006. There have been five rounds of base closures: 1988, 1991, 1993, 1995, and 2005.

Though Congress has periodically adjusted the BRAC process to account for lessons learned, the modern framework has remained generally consistent with earlier rounds, and includes

  • establishment of an independent commission;
  • reliance on objective and uniform criteria;
  • Government Accountability Office (GAO) review and certification of Department of Defense (DOD) data;
  • deliberations designed to be transparent that include open hearings, solicitation of feedback, installation visits, and data available for public review; and
  • requirement that the final list of closure and realignment recommendations be accepted or rejected in their entirety.”

Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC): Background and Issues for Congress (Congressional Research Service, Apr. 25, 2019)

See References for more information.

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