The most recent round of BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) occurred in 2005. The Department of Defense is planning another round in 2015. It’s a matter of looking at the outcomes of the 2005 process to anticipate possible consequences from the upcoming round.
The 2005 BRAC took place during wartime, which meant the emphasis was on enhancing military value without sacrificing cost savings, according to a government report. The economic impact of BRAC can be relayed through numbers and statistics but certainly does not provide a personal impact account.
During the 2005 BRAC in Georgia, seven installations were closed and seven were gained. There were 6,459 military personnel and 3,292 civilian-personnel authorizations either eliminated or relocated from the installation to a new location outside their current economic area. There were 15,136 military and 1,322 civilian-personnel authorizations relocated to an installation in another economic area.
In the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta Metropolitan statistical area, Fort Gillem, Fort McPherson, Naval Air Station Atlanta and Peachtree Leases Atlanta closed, while Dobbins Air Reserve Base gained. As a result, 4,116 military and 2,704 civilian personnel were either eliminated or relocated. Due to the gain at Dobbins, 79 military and 45 civilian personnel were relocated into the installation.
These examples provide some evidence as to what can be expected from the next round of BRAC. There are, of course, economic impacts in the community when installations close or realignment. DOD uses the term “indirect changes, which is defined as the sum of estimated indirect and induced job changes in the community associated with the change in total direct jobs.
If you would like to read more from this report, go to www.defense.gov/brac/pdf/pt1_10_app_bo.pdf. Examples include local grocery stores, retail stores and restaurants.
Eliminating military and civilian jobs or moving them to another economic area does have potential significant side effects on the local community. The population is decreased, affecting tax revenue and the local job market. The housing market also can be affected as homeowners move out of the area.
There are those who would say the future is not going to be determined by organizations like Southeast Georgia Friends of Fort Stewart/HAAF, but we have proven during the past 14 years that continuous information flow nets results. If we do nothing, we will receive nothing. This is our chance to shape the future.
Now is the time to join the movement to keep our region solvent. Invest in the Southeast Georgia Friends of Fort Stewart and Hunter today www.friendsofftstewartandhunter.com.