WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) Thursday questioned Defense Under Secretary and Chief Financial Officer Robert Hale on the expected costs and timing of the Administration’s request to commence another round of base closures within the United States.
During a hearing, Kirk, the Ranking Member on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, asked Hale to provide information on the Administration’s reasoning for proposing a Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) in the fiscal year 2014 budget before first completing studies of areas where the military can increase cost effectiveness.
“I am concerned we do not yet have the information we need to authorize another round of base closures,” Senator Kirk said. “To avoid high construction costs like the last BRAC, and to ensure we maximize future savings, I would like to know what facilities overseas and in Europe the military plans to close before agreeing to another round of closures here at home.”
Currently, the military does not expect to complete its study to “reduce expenses by eliminating excess capacity” on European Infrastructure Consolidation until December 2013. According to the Government Accountability Office, the cost of implementing the 2005 BRAC recommendations rose from the BRAC Commission’s original estimate of $13.2 billion to $35.1 billion -- driven largely by construction costs.