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Just what is BRAC?

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POSTED: April 18, 2013 8:30 a.m.

The term BRAC, or base realignment and closure, is familiar to many of us, especially military families and those living in proximity to military bases.  
Any who experienced BRAC in 2005 will remember how it affected military members, Department of Defense civilian employees and the surrounding communities. BRAC is a process implemented when military installations are deemed in excess to the needs of the services and, therefore, a burden to the tax payer. The facilities are then identified, transferred or disposed of and ownership is passed to other federal or non-federal entities.
The DOD makes a list of base closures and realignment recommendations and presents the list to an independent BRAC commission. The commission reviews the proposal and sends its recommendations to the president. Upon the president’s approval,  the list is sent to Congress, which automatically enacts BRAC procedures unless Congress passes a joint resolution to disapprove the whole list.  
If disapproved, Congress must sustain disapproval over a presidential veto. If passage of BRAC is approved, the DOD then implements the base closings and realignments as outlined in the accepted proposal.  
This is a short version of a much more detailed process. The detailed process involves bases that may be closed entirely or realigned. To make this determination, the DOD assesses the specific missions of each base against the needs of the nation. Bases that are closed will have all military and civilian personnel positions eliminated or relocated. That means missions have been eliminated or moved to another location. Realignment allows missions of the base to remain intact and others to end or relocate.
While BRAC must be approved by Congress prior to implementation, the DOD makes the recommendations and has recently announced that they plan to seek two new rounds in 2015 and 2017.
Being knowledgeable and keeping up to date with BRAC proposals can help to alleviate some hardships associated with the BRAC process.
For more information and links regarding BRAC, go to www.brac.gov.

 

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