Letter to The Honorable Pete Geren, Secretary of the Army

Letter

By:  Chuck Grassley
Date: Aug. 3, 2007
Location: Washington, DC



GRASSLEY: IOWA DELEGATION FIGHTS TO KEEP DES MOINES ARMY RECRUITING BATTALION ACTIVE

Sen. Chuck Grassley and the Iowa Congressional delegation revealed that a decision made by the U.S. Army Recruiting Command was against staff recommendations. Last week they sent a letter to the Pentagon asking for reconsideration of the decision to deactivate the Des Moines Recruiting Battalion and consolidating it with the Minneapolis Recruiting Battalion.

It recently came to the delegation's attention that Major General Thomas Bostick's staff made a presentation that recommended the deactivation of the Minneapolis Recruiting Battalion and consolidate it with Des Moines .

"If the Pentagon actually looks at the significant facts we have shown regarding travel and cost efficiency, and the favorable presentation given by Bostick's staff, there is no reason that Des Moines should be deactivated," Grassley said. "They need to take a closer look at our situation before they follow through with a costly mistake."

The Iowa delegation pointed out that Des Moines has a closer average distance to the metropolitan areas in the region, it is closer to supporting Military Entrance Processing Stations, and it is closer to its supporting military installations. Des Moines also has a lower cost of living than Minneapolis as well as the newly constructed facility located on a military installation instead of leased space resulting in a substantially lower annual operating cost for the Des Moines Recruiting Battalion.

Following is a copy of the letter.

August 3, 2007

The Honorable Pete Geren
Secretary of the Army
US Department of the Army
1600 Army Pentagon
Washington, DC 20310?1600

Dear Secretary Geren:

We remain extremely concerned about a decision by the U.S. Army Recruiting Command (USAREC) to deactivate the Des Moines Recruiting Battalion and consolidate it with the Minneapolis Recruiting Battalion. We understand that the USAREC staff presented a strong recommendation to Major General Bostick to inactivate the Minneapolis Battalion, showing that on all factors where there was a significant difference between the two battalions, the evidence weighed in favor of inactivating the Minneapolis Battalion and consolidating to Des Moines .

Des Moineswas shown to have a significantly closer average distance to the metropolitan areas in the region to be covered by the consolidated battalion, 134 miles versus 189 miles. Des Moines is significantly closer to supporting Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS), with a 100 mile average versus a 143 average for Minneapolis . Des Moines also has a 77 mile closer average to its supporting military installations. On the question of cost, Des Moines has a lower cost of living than Minneapolis and the newly constructed facility in Des Moinesis located on a military installation instead of leased space resulting in a substantially lower annual operating cost for the Des Moines Recruiting Battalion, $24,000 versus $45,000. In addition, the Des Moines Recruiting Battalion just completed its move to a new, $1.7 million facility. That $1.7 million, plus the cost of the move and outfitting the new office space would effectively be wasted were the Des Moines Battalion to be deactivated.

We ask that you review the decision to deactivate the Des Moines Recruiting Battalion in contradiction of the staff recommendation and consider reversing this apparently ill-conceived decision. Thank you for your attention to our request.

Sincerely,

Sen. Chuck Grassley
Sen. Tom Harkin
Rep. Tom Latham
Rep. Leonard Boswell
Rep. Steve King
Rep. Dave Loebsack
Rep. Bruce Braley