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107th Congress                                            Rept. 107-436
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                      Part 2

======================================================================



 
   BOB STUMP NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2003

                                _______
                                

                  May 6, 2002.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

    Mr. Stump, from the Committee on Armed Services, submitted the 
                               following

                          SUPPLEMENTAL REPORT

                        [To accompany H.R. 4546]

  This supplemental report shows the additional views of the 
Honorable Gene Taylor, submitted May 2002, with respect to the 
bill (H.R. 4546), as reported, which was not included in part 1 
of the report submitted by the Committee on Armed Services on 
May 3, 2002 (H. Rept. 107-436, pt. 1).
  This supplemental report is submitted in accordance with 
clause 3(a)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives.

                  ADDITIONAL VIEW OF HON. GENE TAYLOR

    I am greatly disappointed that my amendment to repeal the 
FY2005 BRAC round was not adopted by the House Armed Services 
Committee. With our nation's focus on the ongoing war on 
terrorism, this is not the time for another round of base 
closures. The Defense Department claims tremendous savings from 
previous BRAC rounds in 1988, 1991, 1993, and 1995. In fact, a 
recent GAO report estimates those savings as $16.7 billion 
through 2001 and $6.1 billion in annual recurring savings 
thereafter. However, GAO characterizes these estimates as 
imprecise and rough approximations, and since DoD has not 
accurately tracked its BRAC savings, the report does not 
contain a breakdown of the purported savings by service, let 
alone a list of savings by installation. Furthermore, DoD has 
yet to inform the Committee of any weapon system for which 
procurement has been made possible through BRAC savings.
    The strain on our communities with military installations 
over the previous four BRAC rounds was immense, and we are 
about to put all of those lucky enough to survive the previous 
rounds through the whole process again. BRAC impacts the entire 
community. It impacts the longtime base employee just a few 
years short of retirement who wonders if he'll have to forego 
the retirement pension which he has almost earned or uproot his 
family and relocate to take another Government job. It impacts 
the small business owner who relies upon income from military 
personnel and their families from the base. It also impacts the 
local government that spends valuable time and money trying to 
save their base.
    Most troubling is that some of our decisions in previous 
BRAC rounds have not proven to be very smart. We have already 
given away so many bases that we are now faced with building 
new installations for the basing needs of new weapons 
platforms. In fact, we may soon have to buy additional land to 
build an outlying airfield on the east coast to accommodate the 
new F/A-18E/F Super Hornets for the Navy which are likely to be 
based at either NAS Oceana, Virginia, MCAS Cherry Point, North 
Carolina or MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina. It's likely that 
none of these bases will have the air traffic capacity for all 
of the Super Hornet squadrons, and even if the squadrons are 
split between two of the bases, a new outlying airfield will 
probably be necessary.
    The difficulty that the Navy is having in basing the Super 
Hornets on the east coast pales in comparison to what that 
service will face when it tries to find a home for its Joint 
Strike Fighter (JSF) squadrons which will begin to join the 
fleet in 2010 to complement to the Super Hornet. The most 
disturbing aspect of this dilemma is that the Navy had another 
jet fighter base at NAS Cecil Field near Jacksonville, Florida, 
but that installation was closed in the 1993 BRAC round. The 
480 Navy-variant JSF's that will be procured will produce even 
greater pollutants and noise than the Super Hornet. When NAS 
Cecil Field was ordered to be closed, nobody in DoD saw the JSF 
on the horizon though the JSF program was initiated just a year 
later in 1994. At that time, perhaps few could have predicted 
the impact of new and stricter environmental limitations on 
aircraft basing decisions. As difficult as it is to base the 
Super Hornets for the Atlantic Fleet, the struggle to find a 
home for 200 or more JSF's at an existing east coast 
installation might just be impossible. The problem is further 
compounded by the Marine Corps' need to base half of its 
planned procurement of 609 JSF aircraft somewhere on the east 
coast. We face a very real possibility of having to build a new 
base to house the JSF operational squadrons at what will be an 
astronomical cost. The Navy needs a base near the ocean to 
facilitate aircraft operations and training. The BRAC savings 
that DoD likes to boast of in their pursuit of further base 
closures could be significantly wiped out by the real estate 
acquisition alone. Then one must consider the cost of 
constructing up to four runways of 8000 feet or more, several 
hangars and maintenance facilities, dozens of office buildings, 
hundreds of family housing units and huge barracks complexes, 
and all the support functions and facilities infrastructure to 
service a small city. The best option might be to re-open NAS 
Cecil Field, but that base has already been given away to the 
City of Jacksonville and developed for both residential and 
industrial purposes.
    If DoD is already faced with basing shortages as a result 
of overzealous efforts in previous base closure rounds, it 
makes absolutely no sense to pursue BRAC in 2005 or for many 
years after that. DoD argues that it has 23% excess 
infrastructure capacity, but the services will not or perhaps 
cannot tell us which bases are excess. Given our understandable 
inability to predict all of our future defense requirements, it 
even makes sense to keep a reasonable amount of excess base 
capacity. Otherwise, as Congress is asked to authorize the 
construction of new bases, it will find itself wishing that 
other BRAC installations like NAS Cecil Field had not been 
closed.

                                                       Gene Taylor.