Obama pushing round of military base closures in 2015

The White House will attempt to “repeal and replace” sequestration with less deep cuts and push for two new rounds of military base closures in 2015 and 2017 to cut costs, defense officials said Wednesday.

The proposed $526.6 billion spending proposal represents about a 0.7 percent decline from the 2012 enacted budget.

The administration will ask for another two more rounds of Base Realignment and Closure in 2015 and 2017, but did not immediately release further details.

“This process is an imperfect process,” Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said at a web streamed press conference at the Pentagon. There are upfront costs within BRAC.”

BRAC would cost $2.5 billion in “front costs” over the next five years, but save money over the long term, Hagel told reporters.

In the last BRAC round in 2005, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base was a big winner gaining the 711th Human Performance Wing, including the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, and additional research development projects for the Air Force Research Laboratory and an estimated 1,200 more jobs.

The Miami Valley base is the largest single source employer in Ohio, with more than 29,000 military and civilian employees, based on 2011 figures.

Under the fiscal year 14 budget proposal, the Air Force’s top acquisition priorities are big winners. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter would receive another $8.4 billion for three versions for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, continued funding for the Boeing KC-46 aerial tanker and another $379 million for the development of a new long-range strike bomber.

The Defense Department also sets aside $4.7 billion for cyberspace operations, $10.1 for space initiatives, $2.5 billion to develop new technology for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems, according to the Pentagon.

Military personnel would receive a 1 percent raise, another 4.2 percent increase for a basic allowance for housing and 3.4 percent jump for basic allowance for subsistence.


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