May 24, 2013
The Honorable Chuck Hagel
U.S. Department of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1000
Dear Mr. Secretary:
We write in regard to the Department of Defense's request for Congress to authorize an additional Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round. While we understand the desire to identify excess infrastructure capacity at our military installations in order to generate system-wide efficiencies, we believe the Department of Defense should first look to eliminate excess infrastructure capacity overseas before considering the closure of any facilities within the United States.
As we draw down from the war in Afghanistan, shift our strategic focus to the Pacific, and reduce active-duty personnel and equipment across the services, we believe it is prudent for the Department of Defense to reevaluate its current overseas basing structure to ensure we can maintain our operational requirements and strategic commitments abroad while also reducing costs in this budget environment. We understand the Pentagon has already ordered an assessment of our European infrastructure and we look forward to reviewing the results of those recommendations. With this information, Congress will be able to make more informed decisions regarding the necessity of additional base closures and realignments here at home.
Until the Department of Defense can provide Congress with a comprehensive plan for reducing excess capacity from overseas military installations, we will continue to have concerns with the Department of Defense's request for an additional BRAC round.
The military installations in our states have a profound impact on the families in our communities. We owe it to them to make sure we have realized all possible cost savings abroad before we consider another round of BRAC back home.
MICHELLE LUJAN GRISHAM
Members of Congress
Cc: The Honorable John Boehner, Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Leader, U.S. House of Representatives
The Honorable Buck McKeon, Chairman, House Armed Services Committee
The Honorable Adam Smith, Ranking Member, House Armed Services Committee