Despite an initial reluctance from lawmakers to authorize the Defense Department to conduct a new round of Base Realignment and Closure, some members of Congress are becoming more receptive to the idea.
The Army plans to reduce its force to 490,000 by the end of fiscal 2015. But Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, says shrinking forces won’t be enough to match sequestration-level budgets.
“As we’re being asked to shrink the size of the Army in terms of manpower, we need to shrink the size of the Army in terms of bases,” Hammack said on In Depth on Francis Rose. “We can’t reduce our operating costs without reducing our footprint.”
The Army’s average cost for operating infrastructure is about $3 per square foot. Through a macro analysis, the service determined that its current infrastructure is 18 percent more than necessary to support a force size of 490,000. The Army estimates that the 18 percent excess infrastructure amounts to $500 million in excess costs.