Washington, D.C. – Today, House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) made the following statement about the release of the Defense Department (DOD)’s new report on its excess infrastructure capacity.
This month, the Department of Defense submitted the infrastructure capacity report required by the FY2016 National Defense Authorization Act. The report (attached, with a letter from the Secretary of Defense) shows that, even using a baseline of DOD’s larger 2012 force structure instead of the current structure, the Department of Defense has 19% excess infrastructure capacity. That figure includes 29% excess capacity for the Army and 28% excess capacity for the Air Force.
As Secretary of Defense James Mattis writes in his letter accompanying the report, “I must be able to eliminate excess infrastructure in order to shift resources to readiness and modernization.”
Ranking Member Smith’s statement is as follows:
“This report shows that the case for authorizing a new Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process is extremely strong, even if we plan to substantially increase the size of the military. Even with higher force levels than we have today, 19% of the Defense Department’s infrastructure capacity would be excess to its requirement, including 29% excess capacity for the Army and 28% for excess capacity for the Air Force. That’s a huge amount. We are wasting taxpayer money to maintain buildings and facilities that the military does not need, while we drain away funds for readiness and weaponry that could keep our service members safe and our country secure.”
Ranking Member Smith has long been a leading advocate for authorizing a new Base Realignment and Closure process. This year, he introduced the Military Infrastructure Consolidation and Efficiency Act of 2017 (H.R. 753), which would allow the Department of Defense to make targeted reductions to excess infrastructure capacity, while maintaining sufficient capacity to support contingencies and potential force structure growth in the future. The legislation would also make a number of reforms aimed at increasing congressional oversight, emphasizing savings, controlling cost-growth, strengthening the independent commission, and expediting the completion of the recommendations.