The 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission preliminary list was released by the United States Department of Defense on May 13, 2005. It was the fifth Base Realignment and Closure ("BRAC") proposal generated since the process was created in 1988. It recommended closing 22 major United States military bases and the "realignment" (either enlarging or shrinking) of 33 others. On September 15, 2005, President George W. Bush approved the BRAC Commission's recommendations, leaving the fate of the bases in question to the United States Congress. Congress had a maximum of 45 days to reject the proposal by passing a joint resolution of disapproval, or the recommendations automatically enter into effect. Such a resolution (H.J.Res. 65) was introduced to the House of Representatives on September 23, 2005, by Rep. Ray LaHood (R-IL) (no such resolution was introduced in the Senate). The House took up debate of the resolution on October 26, 2005. The resolution failed to pass by a 324-85 margin, thereby enacting the list of recommendations. The Secretary of Defense was required to begin implementing the recommendations by September 15, 2007 and to complete implementation no later than September 15, 2011.
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Pentagon officials calculated that, if adopted in full by the nine-member BRAC Commission, the recommendations would have saved almost $50 billion over 20 years. The BRAC Commission (officially known as the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission) disputed this claim, pointing out what it considered to be significant flaws in the Department's methodology. The Commission recalculated the 20-year savings of the DOD recommendation list at just above $37 billion. Between late May and late August, the Commission reviewed the list and amended many of the Pentagon's recommendations, removing several major installations from the closure list. The Commission calculated the overall 20-year savings to the government in carrying out its amended list of recommendations as close to $15 billion.
The 2005 BRAC round was the fifth since the process was initiated in 1988, and the first since 1995. It differed significantly from preceding rounds in several respects:
Major facilities slated for closure included these:
Major facilities slated for realignment included these:
By merging adjacent installations belonging to different services 13 Joint Bases were created.
The 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission resulted in a $35 billion increase in military spending, partly due to building new facilities. The military claimed, however, that it also resulted in a $4 billion reduction in annual spending.
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