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BRAC Commission recommendations become law

FORT MONROE, Va. (TRADOC News Service, Nov. 10, 2005) – The plan to relocate U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command headquarters and several of TRADOC’s schools passed its last milestone Nov. 9 in the base realignment and closure process, as the BRAC Commission’s recommendations became law. Congress chose not to disapprove them before its 45-legislative-days time limit was up.

According to the BRAC process timeline established by law, Congress had 45 legislative days once the president approved the BRAC Commission’s report to accept or reject it in its entirety – Congress couldn’t make changes to the final report. The president approved the commission’s recommendations and sent them to Congress Sept. 15.

Several short-term deadlines are now on the horizon, according to officials. Installations affected by the BRAC recommendations, called “targeted” installations, must submit a business plan outlining their specific Transformation details by Nov. 15 to the defense secretary’s office. The business plan is an analysis of resources required to support implementation of BRAC recommendations.

Targeted installations must also designate a BRAC transition coordinator by Nov. 24, with service BRAC implementation budgets due to OSD by Dec. 2.

Officials said most of the operational Army moves under the Integrated Global Presence and Basing Strategy would take place first, likely occurring in 2006 and 2007. Closure of Fort Monroe, Va., where TRADOC is headquartered, and TRADOC’s move to Fort Eustis, Va., is likely to be one of the last moves to occur. HQ TRADOC’s move is one of the last because an appropriate facility must be built at Fort Eustis.

Since plans are still taking shape, timelines for the moves are not yet available.

U.S. Army Accessions Command and U.S. Army Cadet Command headquarters will move to Fort Knox, Ky. These headquarters, along with the Army’s Human Resources Command, will join U.S. Army Recruiting Command in a nexus that will create “a center of excellence for military personnel and recruiting functions by improving personnel lifecycle management,” according to DoD’s BRAC report.

Also, seven TRADOC branch schools will consolidate into centers of excellence patterned after the Maneuver Support Center at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., which combines the military police, engineer and chemical centers and schools. A CoE combines schools with related functions and pulls in supporting entities such as doctrine development and the experimentation program – including a battle lab – for more bang for the buck.

Or, according to the official TRADOC definition, a CoE is “a premier organization that creates the highest standards of achievement in an assigned sphere of expertise by generating synergy through effective and efficient combination and integration of functions while reinforcing the unique requirements and capabilities of the branches.”

Plans for the new Army centers of excellence include:

  • The Air Defense Artillery Center and School, Fort Bliss, Texas, will combine with the Field Artillery School at Fort Sill, Okla., to establish a Net Fires Center at Fort Sill, which will consolidate net fires training and doctrine development at one location.
  • The Armor Center and School, Fort Knox, Ky., will move to Fort Benning, Ga., to consolidate with the Infantry Center and School into a Maneuver Center of Excellence for ground-forces training and doctrine development. Consolidation joins both infantry and armor one-station unit training, allowing the Army to reduce the number of basic combat training locations from five to four. (Forts Jackson, Sill and Leonard Wood will be the other three besides Fort Benning.)
  • The Army is creating a Combat Service Support Center at Fort Lee, Va., by moving the Ordnance Center and School from Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., and the Transportation Center and School at Fort Eustis, and merging them with the Combined Arms Support Command, the Quartermaster Center and School and the Army Logistic Management College at Fort Lee. The Missile and Munitions Center will also move from Redstone Arsenal, Ala., to Fort Lee to be part of the new CSS Center. This will consolidate most CSS training and doctrine development at one installation.

Fort Lee would also become the home of two Joint centers of excellence: one for consolidated transportation-management training and another for Joint culinary training.

Transportation-management training is moving from Lackland AFB, Texas, to Lee to consolidate similar service schools. As home of the most military-transportation training, Fort Lee will become the Joint Center for Consolidated Transportation Management training.

The Air Force’s culinary training would also leave Lackland AFB, to be relocated at Lee, which will be established as the Joint Center of Excellence for Culinary Training. The Army Center of Excellence-Subsistence is already located at Fort Lee. Lee was chosen because it’s the installation with the largest service requirement for culinary training, according to the DoD BRAC report.

Another Joint training center to be established is the Joint Center of Excellence for Religious Training and Education at Fort Jackson, S.C. The home of the Army’s Chaplain School will gain other services’ religious training and education from Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.; Naval Air Station Meridian, Miss.; and Naval Station Newport, R.I.

Other actions that affect TRADOC include:

  • The drill-sergeant schools at Fort Benning and Fort Leonard Wood will merge with the DSS at Fort Jackson. This will consolidate drill-sergeant training from three locations to one, which fosters consistency, standardization and training proficiency, according to DoD’s recommendation.
  • The Prime Power School is moving from Fort Belvoir, Va., to Fort Leonard Wood.
  • A Joint correctional facility will be established at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
  • 2nd Recruiting Brigade will move from Fort Gillem, Ga., to Redstone Arsenal.

BRAC 2005 recommendations will reduce excess military infrastructure between 5 percent and 11 percent and save $48.8 billion over 20 years, according to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.

According to BRAC law, the Defense Department must begin implementing BRAC recommendations within two years of Sept. 15, 2005 – the day the president approved the BRAC Commission’s recommendations – and finish implementation within six years of the president’s approval, or no later than Sept. 15, 2011.