All BRAC - All the time

Published Aug. 25, 2010

With little more than a year before all 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) projects must be complete, the Louisville District is staying focused – and busy – working on the remaining BRAC projects it must deliver by Sept. 15, 2011.

Not one to rest on the district’s reputation for delivering projects on time and on budget, Louisville District Commander Col. Keith Landry established a BRAC tiger team, whose sole purpose is to ensure these final projects are delivered in accordance with BRAC Law timelines. So much so, that the team has adopted the slogan, ALL BRAC – ALL THE TIME.

Comprised of five district managers – Darrell Nation, John Briggs, Karen Sweeney, Diane McCartin and Kevin Jasper—the team continually evaluates each BRAC project’s performance against its schedule to ensure contractors aren’t falling behind. And if they are, the team evaluates why and helps the project delivery team determine how the Corps can help get them back on track and recoup any lost time.

"As some of the district’s more senior leaders, we use our combined experiences to coach project development teams and ensure they use all of the district’s resources to get – and keep – BRAC projects on track," said Nation.

Another way Landry and the tiger team hope to keep projects in the forefront of everyone’s minds is having a "time left until BRAC Soldier Ready deadline" countdown banner on the district’s Intranet site.

With so many moving parts and the need for coordination among all directorates, Landry said showing the amount of time left (days, hours, minutes and seconds) until projects must be complete will serve as a reminder of just how important time (or the lack of it) is to all BRAC projects and to the organizations who will occupy them.

"When BRAC 2005 was initiated the completion date seemed far away. Now it’s just around the corner," said Landry. "We need to make sure the projects we’re building and renovating are ready and waiting for the Soldiers who need them – when they need them."

It appears these efforts are paying off. According to Nation, of the remaining projects, most are on or ahead of their beneficial occupancy schedules.

"Louisville District is responsible for delivering 123 projects for 2005 BRAC Law. To date we’ve delivered one-third of the projects. Based on the current schedule, we’ll deliver the final one-fourth of them in June 2011," said Landry. "The task ahead is immense, but we’re up to the challenge."

However, all the planning, coordination and oversight can’t fix some projects that will not be complete before the BRAC deadline. There are currently three projects that, due to reasons beyond the district’s control, will not meet the intent of BRAC. These projects (Camden, N.J.; Pease, N.H.; and Newtown, Conn.) have received relief from BRAC law from Congress.

"We have a complex and comprehensive, nationwide BRAC mission," said Landry. "It’s clear from the actions we’ve taken during the past few months that we’re putting the right emphasis on BRAC. It takes a great organization with a dedicated team to accomplish something of this magnitude. The men and women of the Louisville District have shown they are up to this challenge and more."

What is BRAC?

The intent of Army Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) is to identify excess Department of Defense (DoD) real property and realign resources so available resources are provided on the right number of installations, to fully support mission requirements. Congress initiated the first round of BRAC in 1988; subsequent BRAC rounds occurred in 1991, 1993 and 1995. The U.S. Army’s Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management, Operations Directorate, BRAC Division has the mission to implement BRAC.

During the last four rounds of BRAC, the Army has worked hard to ensure our stakeholders are aware of what the BRAC Law requires, and how it will affect them and their communities. The Army commonly refers to the first four BRAC rounds as "Legacy BRAC."

DoD requested an additional round of closures because infrastructure realignments and reductions had lagged behind force realignments and reductions, and excess facilities were draining resources that could otherwise support modernization, readiness and quality of life. Public Law 101-510, as amended through the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2003 approved this request, commonly referred to as "BRAC 2005." In his BRAC 2005 kick-off memorandum, the Secretary of Defense stated that, while BRAC 2005 must continue to pursue the reduction of surplus, it "can make an even more profound contribution to transforming the department by rationalizing our infrastructure with defense strategy. BRAC 2005 should be the means by which we reconfigure our current infrastructure into one in which operational capacity maximizes both warfighting capability and efficiency."

While Legacy BRAC focused on closures, BRAC 2005 focuses on transforming the Army through consolidation of installations, rebasing of overseas units, and divestiture of an accumulation of installations that are no longer relevant and are less effective in supporting a joint and expeditionary Army.

BRAC 2005 is a critical component of Army transformation. The BRAC process enables the Army to reshape the infrastructure supporting the current and future forces, making them even more relevant and combat-ready for the combatant commander. Through participation in BRAC 2005, the Army realigns its infrastructure to optimize its warfighting capability and efficiency.

The Army’s BRAC 2005 process will result in a streamlined installation portfolio of predominantly multi-use installations. In short, BRAC 2005 will reduce the cost of ownership while facilitating transformation, joint operations, and joint business functions.