Divestiture of Excess Property a Must

The Air Force continues to spend money maintaining excess infrastructure that service officials could better spend on weapons systems, training for readiness, and airmen’s quality of life, said Kathleen Ferguson, the service’s acting assistant secretary for installations, environment, and logistics. That’s why the Air Force “strongly supports” the Pentagon’s request for another round of BRAC in 2015, Ferguson told the House Appropriations Committee’s military construction, veterans’ affairs, and related agencies panel on April 12 during her testimony on the Air Force’s Fiscal 2014 budget proposal. Back in 2004 before BRAC 2005—the most recent base closing and realignment round—24 percent of the service’s infrastructure capacity was in excess, she said. Air Force infrastructure decreased by just 0.8 percent in BRAC 2005, she said. Yet, since then, the Air Force has 500 fewer airplanes and an Active Duty force that is 8 percent smaller, said Ferguson. Therefore, “divestiture of excess property on a grander scale is a must,” she said. The Air Force closed 40 bases in the past five BRAC rounds, saving “$2.9 billion a year,” said Ferguson. “We believe we can save additional dollars” in a new BRAC round, she said. (Ferguson’s prepared statement)