The Defense Department must close bases and realign its forces in order to meet congressional mandated budget cuts, according to DoD Secretary Chuck Hagel.
Hagel said in a Feb. 24 speech DoD will ask Congress for another base realignment and closure (BRAC) round that would cut billions from its infrastructure costs.
He added that Congress has blocked two previous requests, and that if it does so again DoD will cut base costs wherever it legally can. DoD cannot close down a base in its entirety within the United States without congressional approval.
“We cannot fully achieve our goals for overhead reductions without cutting unnecessary and costly infrastructure,” Hagel said.
In 2004, DoD estimated it had about 25 percent excess infrastructure. The 2005 base realignment and closure process cut roughly 3 percent of that. The department saves more than $12 billion a year from the five BRAC rounds announced between 1998 and 2005 and is hoping to save more in a future consolidation.
In Europe, Hagel said, DoD has already reduced its infrastructure by 30 percent since 2000 and will craft a plan for additional cuts this spring.