Rumsfeld: Pentagon won’t ax more than 10 percent of bases

The Defense Department will recommend that no more than 10 percent of military bases be shut down in its list of base closures and realignments, scheduled to be released Friday morning, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Thursday. Rumsfeld told reporters at a media briefing Thursday that only 5 to 10 percent of military bases would be closed, a number far smaller than the 20 to 25 percent figure once openly touted by Defense officials. In past BRAC rounds, an average of 21 percent of bases were closed or realigned. The Defense Department will recommend "fewer major base closures than had earlier been anticipated," Rumsfeld said at a media briefing. He said the change came as a result of a recent review of overseas military facilities that resulted in a plan to move 70,000 troops back to the United States and a "decision to move activities from leased space into owned facilities."

The 2005 base closing list, if adopted by the independent Base Realignment and Closure Commission, Congress and the president, will result in $5.5 billion in recurring annual savings, Rumsfeld said. Net savings over 20 years will total $48 billion. Adding in changes from closing overseas bases and bringing troops back to the United States brings the total to $6.7 billion per year, or $64.2 billion over two decades, Rumsfeld said.

The "global posture review" recently completed by the Pentagon "informed BRAC deliberations in important ways," Rumsfeld said. Those deliberations, he said, involved tens of thousands of hours of staff time to analyze 25 million pieces of data.

Military communities around the country have been anxiously awaiting announcement of the BRAC list that will come Friday morning. Lawmakers will be first notified by 9:15 a.m. and then the Pentagon will hold a briefing to announce its BRAC recommendations at 10:30 a.m.

The nine-member BRAC panel will begin reviewing the list next week and give its final recommendations to the president by no later than Sept. 8. The president and Congress then must accept or reject the list in its entirety.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.