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Army Uses ‘Intra-Installation’ Closing to Cut Costs

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U.S. Army
Wednesday, July 05, 2017

The Army is reducing its facilities footprint without closing bases, with some “positive results,” according to the assistant chief of staff for installation management.

Lt. Gen. Gwen Bingham said the squeeze on bases is part of an initiative to make “all reasonable efforts to maximize space utilization, consolidate units into our best facilities and dispose of excess assets.”

The Army would prefer to close full installations rather than portions of facilities, but Congress has refused repeated requests from the Defense Department to authorize base closings. “The benefits from intra-installation consolidation are not and cannot be a substitute for another round of BRAC,” she told a Senate subcommittee, using the acronym for the Base Realignment and Closure Commission used five times between 1988 and 2005, allowing a bipartisan panel to make decisions on closing or consolidating installations.

“There is not a direct, 1-to-1 relationship between the operating cost of an installation and the square footage of facilities or the number of people working and living there,” she said. For that reason, the Army would like “a modest reduction of 4 to 5 percent excess capability while allowing for the preservation of some surge capability to adapt to changing conditions.”