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Hearing of the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee-Defense Spending

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Location: Washington, DC


Hearing of the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee-Defense Spending

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

REP. JOHN CARTER (R-TX): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Thank you both for being here today. I'm trying to find some missing soldiers that we were looking forward to in my district and so I'm looking for some -- I've been looking (at some confusion ?) and I don't understand. Back in BRAC we -- it seemed to be -- it seemed to be the indication that we were going to reduce the force in Germany by two first 80 brigades and send them to Fort Bliss, Texas. That's what we were told by the BRAC. The Army has now delayed this movement until 2012 at least when we've already spent significant money to bring them -- this BRAC transfer into Fort Bliss.

Now we're going to be spending grow the force money to prepare for the arrival of two new BCTs announced for Bliss. The goal of BRAC is to move -- to reduce the force in Europe and to extend the main -- (inaudible) -- to change that, and now we're talking about two new BCTs, or does this delay and the construction that's already been there, does this -- how does that affect the MILCON budget? (Inaudible) -- you'd like to spend this money twice for two different outfits, two different sets of brigades, and we're -- and I'm wondering about the numbers at my base. And so I'm always looking for missing soldiers. So I want to find out what's going on.

MR. ARNY: So this is naval air station at Bliss, right?

REP. CARTER: (Inaudible.) (Laughter.)

MR. ARNY: Well, I can answer it more readily. What I can tell you is, one, technically the BRAC moves -- BRAC '05 were only internal to the continental U.S. Now, what the Army did is they fell on that with moves from overseas. I'll have to get you the details of specifics on Fort Bliss because I know Fort Bliss is one of the major receivers of BRAC and MILCON funding, so I will have to get you the specific moves.

We're not paying for anything twice. We're very careful to make sure that we have the space we need and no more.

Now, again, BRAC and the global rebasing was complicated, to use probably the wrong word, was made more complex by the fact that at the same time we were going to reduce the bases overseas we decided to increase the Navy -- or the Marine Corps and the Army -- grow the Army and grow the Marine Corps. So --

REP. CARTER: But now, before all those things, the reason I'm asking the question is is the -- if you just say we decided not to reduce the force in Germany, then that makes sense to me. Otherwise, in (three corps ?) as we looked at the shuffling around of what was going to go in (three corps ?) my concern is for Fort Hood, and Fort Hood was supposed to receive, according to me, the chairman and others, we recorded that as 49,000 soldiers. All of a sudden, we're back down to 42,000 soldiers.

And so the story (is we never ?) told you that. I'm very concerned about that. When I look out here and see it, what looks like a change in position in the Army, I don't know what that change in position means and that's why I asked you because --

MR. ARNY: We'll get you those, sir.

REP. CARTER: If I have time for another question, I have one more question I'd like to know. Barracks privatization -- I have a great interest in barracks privatization. Over three years ago, I asked the question about barracks privatization as it relates to the two Navy projects that were experimental at that time -- how successful they were, where they were going and what was the chances of it the Army was going to able to participate in barracks privatization.

The report that I'm looking at here now says that they are now going to participate in barracks privatization. At that time, I was assured that probably the first place they would try it would be Fort Hood. Now, we're not in the mix. Do you know any reason why we're not in the mix?

MR. ARNY: No, sir, but I'll check. I do know I could bore you to tears on BQ -- what we call BQ privatization because it has been a big success. There are problems one has to overcome, but I did -- I have heard that the Army is starting to look at it, and I'll get back to you on your specific question about Fort Hood.

REP. CARTER: Okay.

That's all, Mr. Chairman.

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