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Logistics Changes Planned Under BRAC

The Secretary of Defense’s recommendations for closing and realigning bases, submitted to a congressionally created commission on 13 May, will have a significant impact on the structure and conduct of Army and Defense logistics if adopted. The recommendations place great stress on consolidating facilities and organizations and on increasing capabilities for joint operations.

The Secretary’s base realignment and closure (BRAC) recommendations are designed to advance five key goals—

• Transform the current and future force and its support systems to meet new threats.
• Eliminate excess physical capacity.
• Rationalize the Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) base infrastructure to support the new defense strategy.
• Maximize both warfighting capabilities and
• Examine opportunities for conducting joint activities.

The Army regards the 2005 BRAC process as a critical component of Army transformation. According to the DOD report to the BRAC commission—

The Army will use the BRAC process to meet its goals of reshaping the fighting force, by creating modular, flexible, deployable units; relocating the force, by moving overseas forces to the continental United States (CONUS); rebalancing the force, by changing the mix of Active and Reserve component units; and creating a more joint force.

Closing and Realigning Army Installations

DOD seeks to close Fort Monmouth, New Jersey; Fort Monroe, Virginia; Fort McPherson, Georgia; Fort Gillem, Georgia; Red River Army Depot, Texas; Hawthorne Army Depot, Nevada; Newport Chemical Depot, Indiana; Deseret Chemical Depot, Utah; Umatilla Chemical Depot, Oregon; Mississippi Army Ammunition Plant, Mississippi; Kansas Army Ammunition Plant, Kansas; Lone Star Army Ammunition Plant, Texas; Riverbank Army Ammunition Plant, California; and Walter Reed Army Medical Center, D.C.

DOD’s plans will result in the relocation of a number of major Army command headquarters. The Army Materiel Command will move from Fort Belvoir, Virginia, to Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, as will one of its major subordinate commands, the Army Security Assistance Command. The Army Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) will move from Fort Eustis, Virginia, to Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, where it will collocate with the U.S. Transportation Command and the Air Force’s Air Mobility Command. SDDC’s Transportation Engineering Agency also will move to Scott Air Force Base. The Army Forces Command will move from Fort McPherson, Georgia, to Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina, as will its subordinate, the Army Reserve Command. (Pope Air Force Base will shift to Army control as part of adjoining Fort Bragg.) The Army Training and Doctrine Command will move from the closing Fort Monroe to nearby Fort Eustis.

Reorganizing Army and DOD Logistics Schools

A number of Army schools will relocate to create combinations of related schools, along the lines of the Maneuver Support Center at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri (which includes the Engineer, Chemical, and Military Police Schools.) One of these consolidations will create a Combat Service Support Center at Fort Lee, Virginia, that will include the following—

• Army Combined Arms Support Command (currently at Fort Lee).
• Army Logistics Management College (currently at Fort Lee).
• Army Ordnance School, which will move from its current locations at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, and Redstone Arsenal to Fort Lee.
• Army Quartermaster School (currently at Fort Lee).
• Army Transportation School, which will move from Fort Eustis to Fort Lee.

The Aviation Logistics School will move from Fort Eustis to join the Army Aviation School at Fort Rucker, Alabama.

DOD wants to consolidate all service training in three areas at Army installations to establish the following joint schools—

• Joint Center for Consolidated Transportation Management Training at Fort Lee.
• Joint Center of Excellence for Culinary Training at Fort Lee.
• Joint Center of Excellence for Religious Training and Education at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.

Closing Red River Army Depot

The closure of Red River Army Depot will result in the following redistribution of functions—

• Munitions storage and demilitarization to McAlester Army Ammunition Plant, Oklahoma.
• Munitions maintenance to McAlester Army Ammunition Plant and Blue Grass Army Depot, Kentucky.
• Depot maintenance of armament and structural components, combat vehicles, depot fleet and field support, engines and transmissions, fabrication and manufacturing, and fire control systems and components to Anniston Army Depot, Alabama.
• Depot maintenance of powertrain components and starters and generators to Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Georgia.
• Depot maintenance of construction equipment to Anniston Army Depot and Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany.
• Depot maintenance of tactical vehicles to Tobyhanna Army Depot and Letterkenny Army Depot, both in Pennsylvania.
• Depot maintenance of tactical missiles to Letterkenny Army Depot.

Reorganizing the Defense Distribution Center

DOD’s BRAC recommendations will result in significant changes in the organization of the Defense Logistics Agency’s (DLA’s) Defense Distribution Center (DDC). DDC will be reorganized to create four CONUS support regions, each with one strategic distribution platform and one or more forward distribution points. The strategic distribution platforms will be located at four Defense distribution depots (DDs): Susquehanna, Pennsylvania; Warner Robins, Georgia; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and San Joaquin, California.

The following 12 DDs will become forward distribution points: Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania (reporting to the Susquehanna Strategic Distribution Platform); Norfolk, Virginia (Susquehanna); Richmond, Virginia (Susquehanna); Cherry Point, North Carolina (Warner Robins); Albany, Georgia (Warner Robins); Jacksonville, Florida (Warner Robins); Anniston, Alabama (Warner Robins); Corpus Christi, Texas (Oklahoma City); Hill, Utah (San Joaquin); Puget Sound, Washington (San Joaquin); San Diego, California (San Joaquin); and Barstow, California (San Joaquin). DD Columbus, Ohio, will be disestablished, as will DD Red River, Texas, along with Red River Army Depot.

All DDs except Richmond are collocated with service logistics installations (such as DD Tobyhanna with Tobyhanna Army Depot). To accomplish the DDC reorganization, only minimum supply, storage, and distribution functions and inventories will be retained at each DD to support the service installation and serve as a wholesale forward distribution point. All other wholesale storage and distribution functions and inventories will be relocated to the appropriate strategic distribution platform.

Managing Consumable and Reparable Items

DOD is recommending a major consolidation of the management of consumable and reparable items under DLA. Certain inventory control point functions for consumable items (budget and funding, contracting, cataloging, requisition processing, customer services, item management, stock control, weapon system secondary item support, requirements determination, and integrated materiel management technical support) will move to DLA. The functions of allowance/initial supply support list development, configuration management, user engineering support, provisioning, and user technical support will remain with the services. Management of procurement of depot-level reparables also will shift to DLA.

For both consumable items and procurement management of depot-level reparables, this proposal will further consolidate the operation of inventory control points by supply chain type. Defense Supply Center Columbus, Ohio, manages the maritime and land supply chain; Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia, manages the aviation supply chain; and Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, manages the troop support supply chain.

Privatizing Commodity Management

DOD aims to privatize the management of selected commodities. This initiative will eliminate all DOD wholesale supply, storage, and distribution functions for tires; packaged petroleum, oils, and lubricants; and compressed gases. DOD will retain only the supply contracting function for these commodities, which will be relocated from several service sites to DLA inventory control points at Defense Supply Centers Columbus and Richmond. DOD will rely on the private sector for supply, storage, and distribution of these commodities.

The BRAC commission will study DOD’s recommendations, decide on changes, and submit its recommendations to the President by 8 September. The President must submit his approval or disapproval of the commission’s recommendations to Congress by 23 September. If the President disapproves, the commission has until 20 October to submit a revised report to the President. The President must submit his approval of the revised report to Congress by 7 November; if he still does not approve the commission’s recommendations, the BRAC process ends. When Congress receives approved recommendations from the President—either on 23 September or 7 November—it will have 45 legislative days (days when Congress is in session) to disapprove those recommendations as a total package; Congress does not have the option of making changes. If Congress does not disapprove, the President’s recommendations will become binding.

Story by Robert D. Paulus