Defense

House Armed Services rejects new round of base closures

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Members of the House Armed Services Committee once again trashed a proposal by President Obama for a new round of military base closures.

{mosads}However, the mark by the panel’s Readiness subcommittee of its version of the fiscal 2016 national defense authorization act (NDAA) directs the Defense Department to conduct an assessment of “excess capacity” to better understand where exactly the agency feels operations can be streamlined.

The Pentagon wanted the new round of military closures to begin in 2017. A base closure and realignment (BRAC) panel established by Congress would examine the department’s facilities and determine which should be shuttered. 

Congress has blocked the request to close bases in recent years, as lawmakers worry that a commission could axe facilities in their own districts.

Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) in particular has come out strongly against the idea, noting that the last BRAC round, which occurred in 2005, ended up costing the Pentagon far more to implement than originally anticipated and only recently has begun to break even.

The subpanel will take up its mark on Wednesday and will be incorporated into the full committee’s defense policy blueprint next week.

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