Report: Pentagon Backs Proposal For Another Base Closing Round

Report: Pentagon Backs Proposal For Another Base Closing Round

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The Pentagon is supporting a proposal from two top U.S. Senators for another round of base closings in 2019.

The proposal for another "BRAC" (base realignment and closure) round comes from U.S. Senator John McCain, chairman of the senate's armed services committee and Jack Reed, the committee's ranking member.

That gives the proposal more clout than some previous BRAC proposals; BRAC is unpopular with congress because when bases close, it devastates the communities near them, and congress regularly rejects BRAC rounds.

BRAC is always a matter of concern for the Watertown area, because Fort Drum is the region's major employer.

The Military Times reports a top Pentagon official, Lucian Niemeyer, strongly endorsed the McCain-Reed proposal.

"...we support the Senate’s attempt to try to get a BRAC authorization started in 2019 [through] the [National] Defense Authorization Act,” the Military Times quote Niemeyer as saying.

The newspaper and web site also reports this BRAC round would cap the cost of closings at $5 billion, a move that could win over members of congress who have opposed BRAC in the past.

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