Defense officials are calling for a comprehensive overhaul of the military’s bases, training grounds and other facilities after a new Pentagon report found that over 20 percent of its infrastructure will not be needed by 2019.
This excess capacity is largely found in the Army and Air Force. In 2019 their infrastructure will be about a third larger than necessary, the report says. The Navy’s infrastructure will be oversized by 7 percent.
The capacities of some types of structures will exceed military requirements by nearly 50 percent. That includes Army Reserve training grounds, schools, test and evaluation labs and the Air Force’s space operations facilities.
The report concludes that the military could save $2 billion a year by consolidating and shuttering unnecessary structures under a Base Realignment and Closure Commission. The last such commission convened over 10 years ago.
In a letter to lawmakers that accompanied the report, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work urged them to approve a new commission.
Lawmakers required the military to craft the infrastructure report in last year’s defense authorization act. However, it’s unclear whether they will follow Work’s recommendation, having resisted past calls for a closure commission.