From the Usual USAF Source...
Well... about that BRAC stuff:Pushing Partisanship Aside—Amy McCullough
In an open letter on Monday, a bipartisan group of 25 members of the national security think-tank community urged Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and congressional defense overseers to address the "growing imbalances within the defense budget" before they "threaten the health and long-term viability of America's volunteer military." Associated with think tanks ranging from the liberal Center for American Progress to the conservative American Enterprise Institute, these experts called for an additional BRAC round, a thorough review of the appropriate size and structure of the civilian workforce, and a comprehensive evaluation and modernization of the military compensation system. The June 3 missive acknowledges that "there is no shortage of useful ideas" to address these concerns and that no change will be painless. During a Monday panel discussion on Capitol Hill (see below), members of this group argued it's critical for the Obama Administration and Congress to take action now. "Those of us who have joined together in support of these efforts find ourselves with differing views on many other issues, including the proper level of defense spending and how that money can best be allocated," states the letter. "But, we are all in strong agreement on the need to pursue these key reforms for a transforming military." (See also link to video of the Capitol Hill briefing.)
No BRAC, says HASC PanelAnd this about item one, above:
In its mark-up of the Fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill, the House Armed Services Committee's readiness panel opted to prohibit the Defense Department "from proposing, planning, or initiating" another round of BRAC. That move came despite the Pentagon leadership urging Congress to authorize another BRAC round in Fiscal 2015. Among its other decisions, the readiness panel increased oversight of the F-35 strike fighter program and required DOD to issue a lifecycle sustainment plan for the stealth aircraft, according to a May 22 HASC release. The panel's mark also would ensure "appropriate stationing of missile defense capacity in Asia" by requiring DOD to analyze and report on missile defense capabilities on Guam, states the release. Overall, the panel, led by Rep. Robert Wittman (R-Va.), said it addressed "many issues of concern for depleted force readiness levels and related high levels of assumed risk." The full HASC is scheduled to hold its mark-up of the defense bill on June 5. (HASC readiness panel mark; caution, large-sized file.) (See also BRAC Again.)
Too Bad It's Not Going to Happen"Costly yet coveted." Uh-oh. The asshats won't close unnecessary bases but I'll give ya a dollar to a doughnut they fuck the retirees.
Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee's strategic forces panel, said on Monday he doubts "very little, if any" of the ideas discussed that day during a bipartisan panel of think tank representatives on fixing the Pentagon's budget imbalances would actually be implemented. That's because too many members of the congressional defense oversight committees hail from constituencies with a strong defense presence, said Cooper during the June 3 event on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers "are more concerned with the parochial rather than the national level," he said. However, he commended the bipartisan effort. During the discussion, the panelists advocated for another round of BRAC. Mackenzie Eaglen of the American Enterprise Institute said the Defense Department has been shedding overseas infrastructure over the last few years, but Congress refuses to acknowledge these efforts. "I'm concerned Congress is ignoring the Pentagon's base closures abroad in an attempt to stall domestic closures," she said. The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments' Todd Harrison said DOD needs to rethink its compensation system, noting that about half of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans would leave the military after five years, meaning they will not even qualify for costly yet coveted military retirement benefits. (Link to video of the Capitol Hill event)