Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04) sent a letter yesterday to the President of the United States, Barack Obama, seeking to clarify whether his administration decided to cancel plans for further rounds of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), in sharp contrast to previous policy and budget documents, as well as official statements from members of his administration.
On July 15, President Obama said in a Hampton Roads, Virginia, interview with Channel 10, WAVY-TV, "You know, I don't think now is the time for BRAC; we just went through some base closings, and the strategy that we have does not call for that."
Congressman Forbes was pleased to learn the President did not support future military base closings. "However," Congressman Forbes wrote, "your statement is inconsistent with those from Secretary Panetta, other members of your administration and budget documentation that all requested two rounds of Base Realignment and Closure."
"The anxiety at military installations and the associated communities has been significant following the Administration's initial request earlier this year for another two rounds of Base Realignment and Closure," Congressman Forbes continued. "We would appreciate if you could confirm that the Administration at this time is no longer seeking to close additional military installations. This affirmation would go a long way to reducing the concern at many installations."
Congressman Forbes, as Chairman of the House Readiness Subcomittee, held a March 1, 2012 hearing on the Administration's Proposed Base Realignment and Closure Process. Congressman Forbes, as well as many of his colleagues in Congress, oppose any further rounds of BRAC.