Chapter 1: Department of the Air Force


Department of the Air Force


Williams Air Force Base, Arizona


Category: Air Force Installation
Mission: Aircrew Training and Research Facility
One-time Cost: None
Savings: 1996-2001: $18.4 million
Annual: $0.3 million
Return on Investment: 1996 (Immediate)
FINAL ACTION: Redirect

Secretary of Defense Recommendation

Change the recommendation of the 1991 Commission regarding the relocation of Williams AFB’s Armstrong Laboratory Aircrew Training Research Facility to Orlando, Florida, as follows: The Armstrong Laboratory Aircrew Training Research Facility at Mesa, Arizona, will remain at its present location as a stand-alone activity.

Secretary of Defense Justification

The 1991 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission recommended that the Armstrong Laboratory Aircrew Training Research Facility located at Williams AFB, Arizona, be relocated to Orlando, Florida. This recommendation, was based on assumptions regarding Navy training activities and the availability of facilities. Subsequent to that Commissions report, it was discovered that the facilities were not available at the estimated cost. In addition, Navy actions in the 1993 BRAC reduced the pilot resources necessary for this facility’s work.

In light of these changes, the Air Force recommends the activity remain at its current location. First, it is largely a civilian operation that is well-suited to remain in a stand-alone configuration. It has operated in that capacity since the closure of the rest of Williams AFB in September 1993. Second, its proximity to Luke AFB provides a ready source of fighter aircraft pilots who can support the research activities as consultants and subjects. Third, the present facilities are consolidated and well-suited to the research activities, including a large secure facility. Finally, the activities are consistent with the community’s plans for redevelopment of the Williams AFB property, including a university and research park.

Community Concerns

The Phoenix community expressed strong support to retain the Armstrong Labs Aircrew Training Research Facility, located on the former Williams AFB, as a stand-alone facility, according to the current DoD recommendation. If this is not possible, the community supported moving the Lab to Luke AFB, just west of Phoenix, where it already conducts part of its mission.

The community has established a strong University consortium, focused on aviation, at the former Williams. The community maintained the Williams-Luke relationship has a long history, and that Williams relies upon fighter pilots from Luke for its simulation studies. The Orlando community expressed support for moving this facility to Orlando, which was the recommendation of the 1991 Commission. It maintained the Lab should be collocated with other Army and Navy flight simulation centers in the Orlando area.

Commission Findings

The Commission reviewed the recommendation of the 1991 Commission, which was to move the Armstrong Laboratory Aircrew Training and Research Facility to Orlando, Florida, and found the justification put forth by the Secretary of Defense to reverse this 1991 decision was sound and cost-effective. The Air Force Base Closure Executive Group estimated the cost to move this facility to Florida would be approximately $15 million. As a result of a number of changes since the 1991 Commission, there is no longer a ready source of fighter pilots within 250 miles of Orlando. Fighter pilots are essential to the Labs mission. The Lab maintains a small liaison staff in Orlando that interacts with the Army and Navy facilities there. The Lab also performs cooperative combat simulation studies and research routinely with the Orlando facilities through electronic means. This capability did not exist in 1991, and obviates the need to move the facility to Florida.

The relationship between Williams/Armstrong Laboratory and nearby Luke AFB is an important factor in the Commission decision to retain the facility at its present location. A portion of the Williams facility is located at Luke. The Commission found that an option the Air Force may wish to consider strongly in the future is moving the Williams portion of the facility to Luke AFB. Estimates reveal this could be done for approximately half the cost of moving anywhere but Luke if existing excess space at Luke is renovated. The simulators at Luke are overcrowded, and Luke would benefit from the substantial opportunity for researcher access at a relatively small cost. The community has a strong re-use plan in effect at the former Williams AFB that includes the Armstrong Lab as a stand-alone facility. However, the Lab is only a small part of a very strong plan, and the Commission found this plan will continue implementation whether the Lab is actually on the Williams property or located at nearby Luke.

Commission Recommendation

The Commission finds the Secretary of Defense did not deviate substantially from the force-structure plan and final criteria. Therefore, the Commission recommends the following: change the recommendation of the 1991 Commission regarding the relocation of Williams Air Force Bases Armstrong Laboratory Aircrew Training Research Facility to Orlando, Florida, as follows: the Armstrong Laboratory Aircrew Training Research Facility at Mesa, Arizona, will remain at its present location as a stand-alone activity.

McClellan Air Force Base, California


Category: Air Force Installation
Mission: Provide depot maintenance and materiel management support to the Air Force
One-time Cost: $409.8 million
Savings: 1996-2001: $45.1 million
Annual: $159.7 million
Return on Investment: 2001 (1 year)
FINAL ACTION: Close

Secretary of Defense Recommendation

None. The Commission added this military installation to the list of bases to be considered by the Commission for closure and realignment as a proposed change to the list of recommendations submitted by the Secretary of Defense.

Community Concerns

Environmental concerns are of paramount importance to the Sacramento Community. The community believes that the environmental condition of McClellan Air Force Base is dire. According to the community, if the installation were to close, the cost to clean up the base would rise significantly, because of the need to accelerate the clean-up schedule. The community believes that sufficient environmental funds would not be made available to meet the accelerated schedule. Further, it would be very difficult to attract new businesses to the base because of liability concerns.

The Community believes the Air Force and the DoD Joint Cross Service Group improperly assessed the functional value of the McClellan depot. The Community calculated the McClellan depot to be the highest functional value DoD depot. In addition, the Community states that the McClellan depot does five times more interservicing than any other DoD depot.

Commission Findings

The Commission found that the significant excess capacity and infrastructure in the Air Force depot system requires closure of McClellan Air Force Base. The Air Force recommendation to downsize all five Air Logistics Center depots through mothballing excess space would reduce the amount of space utilized by the depot, but would not eliminate infrastructure and overhead costs. Downsizing would result in elimination of depot direct labor personnel, but not overhead personnel. The Commission found that closure of McClellan AFB permits significantly improved utilization of the remaining depots and reduces DoD operating costs.

The low military value tier assigned by the Air Force was among the factors considered in the determination to close McClellan Air Force base (at the request of the Air Force, the Joint Cross Service Group used the tier system as a proxy for military value). The Air Force tier system uses rankings of I through III with tier III being the lowest rank. McClellan AFB and the depot at the Sacramento ALC received tier III and tier II rankings, respectively. The Commission found that the determination of military value is complex and difficult to translate into easily auditable numbers. The tier is an appropriate description of the collective military judgment of the officials on the Air Force Base Closure Executive Group.

The Commission questioned the community’s method for calculating depot military value. The Sacramento community simply summed the values for each of the commodity groupings reported to the DoD Joint Cross Service Group. The commodity groupings describe the types of depot maintenance work performed by the ALC. For example, the Sacramento ALC performs hydraulic, instrument, avionics and ground communication maintenance work. A summation of scores indicates the variety of work performed but does not reflect quality or relative importance of core capabilities.

The reduced mission needs for McClellan AFB was also a consideration in the determination to close McClellan AFB. In addition, the Commission found the McClellan AFB closure costs to be less than the costs estimated by DoD and the annual savings significantly greater than DoD’s estimate. The differences in cost and savings estimates are based on differing closure assumptions of the Air Force and Commission. The Commission assumed that a depot closure and consolidation of work would permit a personnel reduction of 15% of selected ALC personnel and a 50% reduction of management overhead personnel. The Air Force did not reflect any direct labor personnel savings due to a closure and reflected a 20% reduction in overhead personnel. The Commission assumed that closure would occur over a five year period, and the Air Force assumed six years. Another significant factor explaining the difference between savings estimates is that Air Force assumed all personnel savings would occur in the last year of implementation; the Commission assumed that personnel eliminations would be evenly phased over the last four years. The Commission also did not agree with a number of one-time costs that the Air Force considered to be directly related to closure.

The Commission found that McClellan AFB has extensive environmental contamination, but that pursuant to DoD guidance, environmental restoration costs should not be considered in cost of closure. DoD has a legal obligation for environmental restoration regardless of whether a base is closed or remains open. Similarly, the availability of environmental funding is a concern to all bases, whether closing or remaining open, and therefore is not a closure decision factor. The Commission notes the Air Force could lease structures and property while cleanup continues, thereby allowing reuse to begin. The DoD, pursuant to Public Law 102-484 indemnifies future owners and users of DoD property from liability resulting from hazardous substances remaining on the property as a result of DoD activities. Indemnification should help to allay the community’s concern about liability.

The Commission found that the DoD should be allowed to retain the Nuclear Radiation Center for dual-use and/or research, or close it as appropriate. The Commission believes closure of McClellan presents an opportunity for cross-servicing and thus, directs the Defense Depot Maintenance Council to determine and direct the appropriate distribution of the work to other DoD depots or to the private sector. The Commission directs that all McClellan common-use ground communication/electronics maintenance work, as categorized by the DoD Joint Cross Service Group for Depot Maintenance, be transferred to the Tobyhanna Army Depot, Pennsylvania. The common-use ground communication/electronics workload categories include: radar, radio communications, wire communications, electronic warfare, navigation aids, electro-optic and night vision, satellite control/space sensors, and cryptographic/communications security.

Each of the Air Logistics Centers operated by the Air Force are excellent organizations. The Sacramento community is clearly supportive of the military and McClellan Air Force Base. The decision to close the McClellan Air Force Base is a difficult one; but given the significant amount of excess depot capacity and limited Defense resources, closure is a necessity. The McClellan AFB closure will permit improved utilization of the remaining ALCs and substantially reduce DoD operating costs.


Commission Recommendation

The Commission finds the Secretary of Defense deviated substantially from the force-structure plan and final criteria 1, 4, and 5. Therefore, the Commission recommends the following: close McClellan Air Force Base including the Air Logistics Center. Disestablish the Defense Distribution Depot, Sacramento. Move the common-use ground-communication electronics to Tobyhanna Army Depot, Pennsylvania. Retain the Radiation Center and make it available for dual-use and/or research, or close as appropriate. Consolidate the remaining workloads to other DoD depots or to private sector commercial activities as determined by the Defense Depot Maintenance Council. Move the required equipment and any required personnel to the receiving locations. All other activities and facilities at the base will close. The Commission finds this recommendation is consistent with the force-structure plan and final criteria.

Moffett Federal Airfield Air Guard Station, California


Category: Air National Guard
Mission: Combat Rescue
One-time Cost: None
Savings: 1996-2001: None
Annual: None
Return on Investment: None
FINAL ACTION: Remain open

Secretary of Defense Recommendation

Close Moffett Federal Airfield Air Guard Station. Relocate the 129th Rescue Group and associated aircraft to McClellan AFB, California.

Secretary of Defense Justification

At Moffett Federal Airfield, the 129th Rescue Group (RQG) provides manpower for the airfields crash, fire and rescue, air traffic control, and security police services, and pays a portion of the total associated costs. The ANG also pays a share of other base operating support costs. These costs to the ANG have risen significantly since NAS Moffett realigned to Moffett Federal Airfield, and can be avoided if the unit is moved to an active duty airfield.

Community Concerns

Community officials are concerned about the future viability of Moffett Federal Airfield, in light of the critical airfield services the 129th Rescue Group provides. Relocation of the unit would force National Aeronautical Space Administration (NASA)-Ames Research Center to replace those services, possibly at a higher cost. These costs would be passed onto NASA-Ames in continuing to operate Moffett Federal Airfield. The community believes higher costs could make it difficult for NASA-Ames to attract and retain tenants at the airfield.

Community officials believe the Air Forces analysis was flawed because the analysis does not consider costs that would be passed on to NASA. They assert that costs and savings should be calculated government-wide and not just DoD-wide. Finally, the community asserts that this recommendation should not have been submitted to the Commission for review because, the Guard Station does not meet the 300 civilian threshold required for recommendations to be submitted to the Commission.

Commission Findings

The DoD recommendation on Moffett Federal Airfield AGS directed the unit to relocate to McClellan AFB, California. Because the Commission recommends closure of McClellan AFB, the DoD recommendation can not be implemented. Given the cost associated with relocating the unit to another Air Force base, the Commission found the Guard Station and unit should remain at Moffett Federal Airfield.

Commission Recommendation

The Commission finds the Secretary of Defense deviated substantially from final criterion 2. Therefore, the Commission recommends the following: Moffett Federal Airfield Air Guard Station will remain open. The Commission finds this recommendation is consistent with the force-structure plan and final criteria.


North Highlands Air Guard Station, California


Category: Air National Guard
Mission: Combat Communications
One-time Cost: None
Savings: 1996-2001: None
Annual: None
Return on Investment: None
FINAL ACTION: Remain open

Secretary of Defense Recommendation

Close North Highlands Air Guard Station (AGS) and relocate the 162nd Combat Communications Group (CCG) and the 149th Combat Communications Squadron (CCS) to McClellan AFB, California.

Secretary of Defense Justification

Relocation of the 162nd CCG and 149th CCS onto McClellan AFB will provide a more cost-effective basing arrangement than presently exists by avoiding some of the costs associated with maintaining the installation. Because of the very short distance from the units present location in North Highlands to McClellan AFB, most of the personnel will remain with the unit.

Community Concerns

There were no formal expressions from the community.

Commission Findings

The DoD recommendation on North Highlands AGS directed the unit to relocate to McClellan AFB, California. Because the Commission recommends closure of McClellan AFB, the DoD recommendation can not be implemented. Given the cost associated with relocating the unit to another Air Force base, the Commission found the Guard Station and unit should remain at North Highlands.

Commission Recommendation

The Commission finds the Secretary of Defense deviated substantially from final criterion 2. Therefore, the Commission recommends the following: North Highlands Air Guard Station will remain open. The Commission finds this recommendation is consistent with the force-structure plan and final criteria.


Onizuka Air Station, California


Category: Space
Mission: Satellite Control
One-time Cost: $121.3 million
Savings: 1996-2001: -$78.7 million (Cost)
Annual: $16.1 million
Return on Investment: 2007 (7 years)
FINAL ACTION: Realign

Secretary of Defense Recommendation

Realign Onizuka AS. The 750th Space Group will inactivate and its functions will relocate to Falcon AFB, Colorado. Detachment 2, Space and Missile Systems Center (AFMC) will relocate to Falcon AFB, Colorado. Some tenants will remain in existing facilities. All activities and facilities associated with the 750th Space Group including family housing and the clinic will close.

Secretary of Defense Justification

The Air Force has one more satellite control installation than is needed to support projected future Air Force satellite control requirements consistent with the Department of Defense (DoD) Force Structure Plan. When all eight criteria are applied to the bases in the Satellite Control subcategory, Onizuka AS ranked lower than the other base in the subcategory. Among other factors, Falcon AFB has superior protection against current and future electronic encroachment, reduced risks associated with security and mission-disrupting contingencies, and significantly higher closure costs.

Community Concerns

The community expressed concerns about the national security implications of closure. In addition, the community is concerned that operational requirements of satellite control redundancy (dual node versus single node capability) would be jeopardized. They note the mission objective requires robust, flexible, responsible, and enduring satellite control capability. Back-up resources are required to eliminate single failure points and provide continuous, uninterrupted control capability in the event of war, natural disaster, or sabotage. In addition, a U.S. Air Force Space Command Backup Satellite Control policy directive dated January 30, 1995, requires geographically separated back-up satellite control capability. The community argues that the Air Force needs both Onizuka Air Station (AS) and Falcon Air Force Base (AFB) satellite control nodes.

Community representatives believe the Air Force was not forthcoming regarding the existence of a Single-Node Operations Study and its cost estimates. The community argues the Air Force mislead the Commission in its answers to questions about this study. The community suggests the Air Force had planned to close Onizuka since 1994. They also conclude that all costs associated with moving Detachment 2 and the classified tenants properly belong in the cost calculations of DoDs recommendation. They argue the total one-time costs to close Onizuka AS are $699 million (versus DoDs estimate of $291.3 million) and the return on investment is 27.1 years (versus DoDs calculation of 7 years). Finally, community representatives believe some portion of the costs for a communications switching system upgrade should be included in DoDs recommendation.

The community also questions the Air Forces military value analysis. They argue the analysis is unauditable, the Air Force relied on military judgment, and the approach was undocumented. Community representatives believe the Air Forces analysis is flawed because the Air Force violated its guidance and the decision-making process was subjective. They note the General Accounting Office supports the conclusion that the Onizuka AS rating was arbitrary. The community also suggests Air Force savings were shifted as costs to other federal agencies. Also, one-time closure costs may be overstated at Falcon AFB and understated at Onizuka AS. Finally, the community notes Onizuka AS was penalized for air quality restrictions, although there is no operational impact on satellite control.

The community presented an alternative proposal to realign Onizuka AS to Moffett Federal Airfield. This proposal would provide commercial utilization of available capacity at Onizuka AS and maintain the integrity of Moffett Federal Airfield. They argue realignment of Onizuka AS would jeopardize the whole concept of a federal airfield. Closure of family housing units; the medical clinic; Morale, Welfare, and Recreation program facilities; and the Navy Exchange, which is sponsored by Onizuka AS, would have a detrimental impact on Moffett Federal Airfields ability to provide services to remaining DoD personnel. It also would result in the loss of a significant airfield user, increased costs to remaining resident agencies, and diminished attractiveness to federal agencies.

Commission Findings

The Commission found backup capability and redundancy for controlling individual satellites will not be lost with this realignment. The Commission found that, although the United States currently has a requirement for satellite control redundancy and the U.S. Air Force Space Command Backup Satellite Control policy directive requires geographical separation for backup control capabilities and communications, two fully operational satellite control nodes are no longer required. Back-up capability currently can be provided through payload command and control, mission processing facilities, remote satellite tracking stations, mobile assets, and/or the use of the Onizuka AS assets as required. The Commission also found the recommendation to realign Onizuka AS will not increase risk associated with satellite control or reduce redundancy. Future developments will make geographical separation unnecessary. Therefore, the Commission found that the U.S. Air Force has one more satellite control installation than it needs to support future Air Force satellite control requirements. In addition, the Commission found while the Air Force would like to close Onizuka AS at some point in the future, it must keep it open to support classified tenants whose missions will not phase out or move until after the BRAC 1995 timeframe (after 2001). Thus, DoDs recommendation is for realignment and not closure.

The Commission found the Single-Node Operations Study was not part of the BRAC 1995 analysis because it was conducted before the BRAC 1995 process and its assumptions were fundamentally different from DoDs recommendation. Detachment 2 consists of two components, only one of which belongs in the closure cost calculations. The Commission included the cost of realigning the engineering component in its analysis. Under the realignment, only one classified mission is required to relocate. The other classified missions will remain at Onizuka AS until they complete their missions. The cost to realign the one classified mission is $80.2 million and is included in the total $121.3 million realignment costs. The Commission found the recommendation for realignment is not connected to on-going multi-year research and development efforts to upgrade the Air Force Satellite Control Network. These upgrades are not the result of the Onizuka AS realignment and are required with or without the realignment.

The Commission found air quality does not have a significant impact on current operations, but is a major factor affecting realignments and the transfer of additional functions and personnel into the area. The Commission also found realignment to Moffett Federal Airfield is not a viable alternative.

Commission Recommendation

The Commission finds the Secretary of Defense did not deviate substantially from the force-structure plan and final criteria. Therefore, the Commission recommends the following: realign Onizuka Air Station. The 750th Space Group will inactivate and its functions will relocate to Falcon AFB, Colorado. Detachment 2, Space and Missile Systems Center (AFMC) will relocate to Falcon, AFB, Colorado. Some tenants will remain in existing facilities. All activities and facilities associated with the 750th Space Group including family housing and the clinic will close.

Ontario International Airport Air Guard Station, California


Category: Air National Guard
Mission: Combat Communications and Weather
One-time Cost : $0.9 million
Savings: 1996-2001: -$0.4 million (Cost)
Annual: $0.1 million
Return on Investment: 2006 (9 years)
FINAL ACTION: Close

Secretary of Defense Recommendation

Close Ontario International Airport Air Guard Station (AGS) and relocate the 148th Combat Communications Squadron (CCS) and the 210th Weather Flight to March ARB, California.

Secretary of Defense Justification

Relocation of the 148th CCS and the 210th Weather Flight onto March ARB will provide a more cost-effective basing arrangement by avoiding some of the costs associated with maintaining the installation. Because of the short distance from the units present location on Ontario International Airport AGS, most of the personnel will remain with the unit.

Community Concerns

There were no formal expressions from the community.

Commission Findings

The Commission found no reason to disagree with the recommendation of the Secretary of Defense.

Commission Recommendation

The Commission finds the Secretary of Defense did not deviate substantially from the force-structure plan and final criteria. Therefore, the Commission recommends the following: close Ontario International Airport Air Guard Station (AGS) and relocate the 148th Combat Communications Squadron (CCS) and the 210th Weather Flight to March ARB, California.

Lowry Air Force Base, Colorado


Category: 1991 Realignment
Mission: Space Systems Support
One-time Cost: $2.4 million
Savings: 1996-2001: $10.2 million
Annual: $3.0 million
Return on Investment: 1998 (1 year)
FINAL ACTION: Redirect

Secretary of Defense Recommendation

Change the recommendation of the 1991 Commission regarding the cantonment of the 1001st Space Support Squadron at the Lowry Support Center as follows: Inactivate the 1001st Space Systems Squadron, now designated Detachment 1, Space Systems Support Group (SSSG). Some Detachment 1 personnel and equipment will relocate to Peterson AFB, Colorado, under the Space Systems Support Group while the remainder of the positions will be eliminated.

Secretary of Defense Justification

The 1991 Commission recommended that the 1001st Space Systems Squadron, now designated Detachment 1, SSSG, be retained in a cantonment area at the Lowry Support Center. Air Force Materiel Command is consolidating space and warning systems software support at the SSSG at Peterson AFB. The inactivation of Detachment 1, SSSG, and movement of its functions will further consolidate software support at Peterson AFB, and result in the elimination of some personnel positions and cost savings.

Community Concerns

The community supports the inactivation of Detachment 1, Space Systems Support Group, and the closure of all related building structures. It also supports acceleration of the closure process. The community opposes Air Force retention of the hangar for contingency use by the 2nd Space Warning Squadron, a continental United States Defense Support Program (space early warning) ground site located at Buckley Air National Guard (ANG) Base, Colorado.

Detachment 1 plans to upgrade the cooling capacity for its computers. The Lowry Redevelopment Authority requests that the Air Force follow its standard policies concerning real and personal property when eventually transferring the equipment to Buckley ANG Base.

Commission Findings

The Commission found DoDs intent to inactivate Detachment 1 was supportable but the recommendation failed to include closure of all related facilities at the former Lowry AFB. The Air Force subsequently informed the Commission it wants to close all related facilities. The community supports the inactivation of Detachment 1 and the closure of all related building structures. The Commission found the Air Force policy to avoid retention of islands of operations within closed bases, where alternatives already exist (for example, at nearby Buckley ANG Base), is justified.

Commission Recommendation

The Commission finds the Secretary of Defense deviated substantially from final criterion 2. Therefore, the Commission recommends the following: change the recommendation of the 1991 Commission regarding the cantonment of the 1001st Space Support Squadron at the Lowry Support Center as follows: inactivate the 1001st Space Systems Squadron, now designated Detachment 1, Space Systems Support Group (SSSG) and close all related facilities. Some Detachment 1 personnel and equipment will relocate to Peterson AFB, Colorado, under the Space Systems Support Group while the remainder of the positions will be eliminated. The Commission finds this recommendation is consistent with the force-structure plan and final criteria.

Eglin Air Force Base, Florida


Category: Test and Evaluation
Mission: Electronic combat test and evaluation
One-time Cost: $6.1 million
Savings: 1996-2001: $6.3 million
Annual: $ 3.7 million
Return on Investment: 2000 (2 Years)
FINAL ACTION: Realign

Secretary of Defense Recommendation

Realign Eglin AFB, Florida. The Electromagnetic Test Environment (EMTE), consisting of eight Electronic Combat (EC) threat simulator systems and two EC pod systems will relocate to the Nellis AFB Complex, Nevada. Those emitter-only systems at the Air Force Development Test Center (AFDTC) at Eglin AFB necessary to support Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), the USAF Air Warfare Center, and Air Force Materiel Command Armaments/Weapons Test and Evaluation activities will be retained. All other activities and facilities associated with Eglin will remain open.

Secretary of Defense Justification

Air Force EC open air range workload requirements can be satisfied by one range. Available capacity exists at the Nellis AFB Complex to absorb EMTEs projected EC workload. To ensure the Air Force retains the capability to effectively test and realistically train in the Armaments/Weapons functional category, necessary emitter-only threat systems will remain at Eglin AFB. This action is consistent with Air Force and DoD efforts to consolidate workload where possible to achieve cost and mission efficiencies.

Community Concerns

The Eglin community has raised the following concerns over the movement of electronic combat threat simulators and pod systems from Eglin to Nellis Air Force Base: (1) congressional committee direction requiring DOD to submit a master plan to Congress before changing the electronic combat infrastructure has been circumvented by Air Force, (2) despite being given the highest rating of all electronic combat test ranges by a joint service panel, Air Force chose to dismantle Eglin and discontinue its role as a leader in electronic combat, and (3) the Air Forces one-time cost to move the electronic combat equipment is significantly understated.

Commission Findings

The Commission staffs predominant analysis was performed on an unofficial 17 threat simulator-2 pod system scenario while the motion, based on the DoD recommendation, was for 8 simulators and 2 pods. The Commission found an additional $9.6 million in military construction costs and an additional annual cost of $7.4 million would never net a return on investment for the 17 threat simulator-2 pod scenario.

In making its final decision, however, the Commission accepted the DoD recommendation for moving 8 simulators and 2 pod systems, to centralize activities at the Western Test Complex.

Development of an electronic combat master plan is expected to result in cost effective changes to DoDs test and evaluation infrastructure. However, the Commission found that DoD has not yet completed the Master Plan for consolidation of electronic combat assets DoD-wide. The Commission recognizes the high military value of the Electro-Magnetic Test Environment at Eglin Air Force Base. It was rated as a superior electronic combat test and evaluation facility by the independent Board of Directors which is comprised of the Services Vice Chiefs of Staff. The Commission found that the Electronic Combat Master Plan should be used to establish the infrastructure for optimum asset utilization.


Commission Recommendation

The Commission finds the Secretary of Defense did not deviate substantially from the force-structure plan and final criteria. Therefore, the Commission recommends the following: realign Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The Electromagnetic Test Environment (EMTE), consisting of eight Electronic Combat (EC) threat simulator systems and two EC pod systems will relocate to the Nellis AFB Complex, Nevada. Those emitter-only systems at the Air Force Development Test Center (AFDTC) at Eglin AFB necessary to support Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), the USAF Air Warfare Center, and Air Force Materiel Command Armaments/Weapons Test and Evaluation activities will be retained. All other activities and facilities associated with Eglin will remain open.

Homestead Air Force Base , Florida
301st Rescue Squadron (AFRES)


Category: Air Force Reserve
Mission: Air Force Reserve Rescue Squadron
One-time Cost: $6.6 million
Savings: 1996-2001: $-0.5 million (cost)
Annual: $1.5 million
Return on Investment: 2002 (5 Years)

FINAL ACTION: Redirect

Secretary of Defense Recommendation

Change the recommendation of the 1993 Commission regarding Homestead AFB as follows: Redirect the 301st Rescue Squadron (AFRES) with its associated aircraft to relocate to Patrick AFB, Florida.

Secretary of Defense Justification

The 301st Rescue Squadron (RQS) is temporarily located at Patrick AFB, pending reconstruction of its facilities at Homestead AFB which were destroyed by Hurricane Andrew. As part of the initiative to have reserve forces assume a greater role in DoD peacetime missions, the 301st RQS has assumed primary responsibility for Space Shuttle support and range clearing operations at Patrick AFB. This reduces mission load on the active duty force structure. Although the 301st RQS could perform this duty from the Homestead Air Reserve Station, doing so would require expensive temporary duty arrangements, extensive scheduling difficulties, and the dislocation of the units mission from its beddown site. The redirect will enable the Air Force to perform this mission more efficiently and at less cost, with less disruption to the unit and mission.

Community Concerns

Homestead: The Homestead community is in the process of converting the base to a municipal airport. The 301st Rescue Squadron (RQS) and the 482nd Fighter Wing (FW) would be anchor tenants. The community believes south Florida is an attractive location from which to recruit for the Reserves, and that most reservists in the 301st still live in south Florida–anticipating the return of the unit to Homestead, as recommended by the 1993 Commission. The community contends the Air Force Reserve has setup the 301st for a redirect to Patrick by taking several deliberate actions, e.g., focusing all recruiting since Hurricane Andrew in central Florida, delaying the construction of the units facilities at Homestead until 1996, and taking on the Space Shuttle support mission as the units primary peacetime function. In addition, the Homestead community believes the loss of the 301st might lead to the closure of the base. Such an occurrence would have a much greater economic impact on the small Homestead community than that shown for the entire Dade County Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA). The redirect would result in the loss of hundreds of returning full-time Air Reserve Technicians (ARTs) now, and the loss of part-time reservists who would relocate to Patrick in the future. The community asserts the base has a high military value, having frequently served as the key military facility in support of operations in the Caribbean and Latin America, a major responsibility of the 301st RQS. Homestead is an excellent site for peacetime readiness training and rescue support of the collocated F-16 unit. In addition, the facilities at Homestead are being rebuilt at no cost to the Air Force by a Fiscal Year 1992 Hurricane Andrew Supplemental Appropriation. The community believes some savings can be achieved if the 301st RQS is collocated with the 482nd FW at Homestead because the Air Force could eliminate 20 support personnel positions.

Patrick: The Patrick community argues that it is an excellent area from which to recruit for the Air Force Reserve. Since the evacuation from Homestead following Hurricane Andrew in August, 1992, most 301st RQS personnel and their families now live in the Patrick community. The community believes most unit members do not want to move again. In addition, Patrick is a safe, low-cost, area. They also contend that although the mission of the 301st RQS is Combat Rescue, its primary peacetime function is NASA Space Shuttle and spacecraft launch support. They believe Patrick is an ideal location to perform this mission. The Air Force will save $1 million per year in travel costs if the 301st is at Patrick instead of Homestead. The community argues that at least $7 million additional funding would be required at Homestead for military construction, in addition to the funds provided in the Fiscal Year 1992 Hurricane Andrew Supplemental Appropriation, to move the unit back to Homestead. Finally, the community points out the central Florida area has never suffered serious hurricane problems–one reason for the siting of the Kennedy Space Center there –whereas South Florida is prone to hurricanes.


Commission Findings

The Commission found the demographics of the central Florida location of Patrick AFB sufficient to support the recruiting requirements of the 301st Rescue Squadron (AFRES). The Commission found Homestead ARB should remain an open installation, given the presence of the 482nd Fighter Wing (AFRES), a Florida Air National Guard detachment, and other federal agency tenants. Although the units support to the NASA space program is important, the primary mission of the 301st remains combat rescue. The Avon Park Gunnery Range, located in close proximity of Patrick AFB, supports unit readiness training for the primary mission. The Commission found the Reserves are well suited to the NASA Shuttle Support mission because it allows unit personnel to meet their duty requirements and not disrupt their regular civilian employment. The Commission found retention of the unit at Patrick allows the active duty unit to focus exclusively on its Combat Rescue mission. Although there is no military construction cost avoidance as a result of this recommendation, the Commission found the $1 million annual travel cost needed to support the NASA mission from Homestead make this redirect cost effective.

Commission Recommendation

The Commission finds the Secretary of Defense did not deviate substantially from the force-structure plan and final criteria. Therefore, the Commission recommends the following: change the recommendation of the 1993 Commission regarding Homestead Air Force Base as follows: redirect the 301st Rescue Squadron (AFRES) with its associated aircraft to relocate to Patrick AFB, Florida.

Homestead Air Force Base , Florida
726th Air Control Squadron


Category: Air Force Reserve
Mission: Active Component Air Surveillance, Command, and Control
One-time Cost: $7.9 million
Savings: 1996-2001: $1.8 million
Annual: $0.2 million
Return on Investment: 1996 (Immediate)

FINAL ACTION: Redirect

Secretary of Defense Recommendation

Change the recommendation of the 1993 Commission regarding the relocation of the 726th Air Control Squadron (ACS) from Homestead AFB to Shaw AFB, South Carolina, as follows: Redirect the 726th ACS to Mountain Home AFB, Idaho.

Secretary of Defense Justification

The 726th ACS was permanently assigned to Homestead AFB. In the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew, the 726th ACS was temporarily moved to Shaw AFB, as the first available site for that unit. In March 1993, the Secretary of Defense recommended the closure of Homestead AFB and the permanent beddown of the 726th ACS at Shaw AFB. Since the 1993 Commission agreed with that recommendation, experience has shown that Shaw AFB does not provide adequate radar coverage of training airspace needed to support the training mission and sustained combat readiness.

Community Concerns

The Shaw community argues the 726th Air Control Squadron (ACS) can adequately perform readiness training at Shaw AFB. Moreover, with the recent cancellation of the Idaho Range project, the rationale for moving the squadron has been eliminated. The community asserts the Air Force is considering options to correct the training deficiencies at Shaw. This would include radar and communications links with 726th remote and FAA facilities to provide improved radar and radio coverage of the surrounding training airspace. The airspace is frequently used by both local and transient units and provides 726th personnel ample training opportunities. In addition, Shaw is optimally positioned for worldwide deployments to the Persian Gulf and Europe via lift resources in Charleston. The community also argues that although the Air Force plans to shrink the unit from squadron to element-size, the COBRA military construction costs at Shaw assume a squadron-sized facility. In contrast, the military construction costs at Mountain Home AFB assume an element-size facility. As a result, the community believes the $3.5 million construction cost avoidance at Shaw is not real. Keeping the unit at Shaw would save $1 million in moving expenses and $1.4 million in one-time unique costs at Mountain Home. The community believes remaining at Shaw saves the Air Force $2.4 million in up-front-costs, minimizes the benefits of the recurring savings, and avoids any impact on training and readiness. The Shaw community points out there will be a sizable economic impact to the Sumter area with the transfer of the 726th from Shaw.

Commission Findings

The Commission found combat readiness training for the personnel assigned to the 726th Air Control Squadron is deficient at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina. Shaw is far from training airspace, thus is unable to provide suitable radar coverage. In addition, the Commission found Shaw does not offer enough of the needed types of training flights. The training options suggested by the community are unsatisfactory substitutes for putting the unit where there is adequate radar coverage, suitable airspace, and frequent training opportunities. Mountain Home Air Fore Base, Idaho, offers all of these features. The recent decision to cancel the Idaho Range complex has no bearing on airspace. It pertains solely to the delivery of ordnance from fighter aircraft onto a surface range, and has no effect on the overlying airspace. Simulated ordnance delivery in the existing airspace will still occur offering the 726th ACS abundant training opportunities. Deployment requirements for the 726th ACS are distinct from the other units at Shaw. With both European and Asia-Pacific taskings, the units deployment capability is not impacted by its Mountain Home location. The unit is downsizing, so military construction costs at Mountain Home are similar to Shaw. The Commission found the cost to move the unit is justified because of the increase in training opportunities.

Commission Recommendation

The Commission finds the Secretary of Defense did not deviate substantially from the force-structure plan and final criteria. Therefore, the Commission recommends the following: change the recommendation of the 1993 Commission regarding the relocation of the 726th Air Control Squadron (ACS) from Homestead Air Force Base to Shaw AFB, South Carolina, as follows: redirect the 726th ACS to Mountain Home AFB, Idaho.

MacDill Air Force Base, Florida


Category: Administrative
Mission: Support Unified Commands, U.S. Southern Command and U.S. Central Command
One-Time Cost: None*
Savings: 1996-2001: None*
Annual: None*
Return on Investment: None*
FINAL ACTION: Redirect

*Cost and savings for this recommendation are included in the Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana recommendation.

Secretary of Defense Recommendation

Change the recommendations of the 1991 and 1993 Commissions regarding the closure and transfer of the MacDill AFB airfield to the Department of Commerce (DOC) as follows: Redirect the retention of the MacDill airfield as part of MacDill AFB. The Air Force will continue to operate the runway and its associated activities. DOC will remain as a tenant.

Secretary of Defense Justification

Since the 1993 Commission, the Deputy Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have validated airfield requirements of the two Unified Commands at MacDill AFB and the Air Force has the responsibility to support those requirements. Studies indicate that Tampa International Airport cannot support the Unified Commands’ airfield needs. These validated DoD requirements will constitute approximately 95 percent of the planned airfield operations and associated costs. Given the requirement to support the vast majority of airfield operations, it is more efficient for the Air Force to operate the airfield from the existing active duty support base. Additional cost savings will be achieved when the KC-135 aircraft and associated personnel are relocated from Malmstrom AFB in an associated action.

Community Concerns

The community fully supports the retention of the airfield at MacDill Air Force Base as an active Air Force installation to satisfy the airfield requirements for the United States Central Command and the United States Southern Command. In addition, the community supports the transfer of 12 KC-135 tanker aircraft from Malmstrom AFB, Montana to MacDill. Further, the community notes MacDill has the capacity to accommodate more aircraft and supports the assignment of additional resources to MacDill AFB.

Commission Findings

The Commission found there is Deputy Secretary of Defense direction and Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) support for of an operational airfield at MacDill Air Force Base. In addition, the Commission found it is the responsibility of the Air Force to provide operational airfield support to the joint commands located at MacDill AFB. The JCS completed an operational assessment of MacDill support requirements for the deployment of USCENTCOM and USSOCOM elements and the Joint Communications Support Element, which were validated by the Chairman of the JCS and Deputy Secretary of Defense. Studies indicated these deployment requirements could not be supported by Tampa International Airport. In addition, an economic analysis performed by the Air Force determined airfield operating costs would be $9-$10 million annually whether the Department of Commerce or the Department of the Air Force operated the airfield. The Commission agrees with the Air Forces position that it would be more efficient for them to continue to operate the airfield in view of the validated requirements and similar costs to the Air Force whether as a tenant or host of the installation.

Commission Recommendation

The Commission finds the Secretary of Defense did not deviate substantially from the force-structure plan and final criteria. Therefore, the Commission recommends the following: change the recommendation of the 1991 and 1993 Commissions regarding the closure and transfer of MacDill Air Force Base airfield to the Department of Commerce (DOC) as follows: redirect the retention of the MacDill airfield as part of MacDill AFB. The Air Force will continue to operate the runway and its associated activities. DOC will remain as a tenant.


Chicago OHare IAP Air Reserve Station, Illinois


Category: Air Force Reserve
Mission: Tactical Airlift
One-time Cost: $24.1 million
Savings: 1996-2001: $53.7 million
Annual: $17.3 million
Return on Investment: 1998 (1 Year)
FINAL ACTION: Close

Secretary of Defense Recommendation

None. The Commission added this military installation to the list of bases to be considered by the Commission for closure and realignment as a proposed change to the list of recommendations submitted by the Secretary of Defense.

Community Concerns

The community position is not unanimous. The Suburban OHare Council, Air Force Community Council, and Armed Forces Council support retention of the Air Force Reserve installation and all reserve forces units at OHare International Airport. The City of Chicago desires to acquire the Air Force property for additional development. The local community support groups argue the City of Chicago has no funding identified to pay for the proposed relocation of all units at the Reserve Air Station as directed by the 1993 Commission and, thus, the reserve units should remain at the OHare location. Conversely, the City of Chicago maintains they are progressing with plans to finance relocation of the Air Reserve Component units from OHare pursuant to the 1993 Commission recommendations under the 1993 recommendation. The City has until July 1, 1995, to develop a financial plan to pay for the relocation and replacement of facilities of the Air Force and Army Reserve activities and Air National Guard units at a site acceptable to the Secretary of the Air Force.

Commission Findings

The Commission found the costs to operate OHare International Airport (IAP) Air Reserve Station (ARS) and two other Air Force Reserve C-130 locations, used by the Air Force were inaccurate. Using corrected costs, the Commission found the Air Force operating costs at OHare were understated in this case. The Commission found closure of OHare IAP ARS and deactivation of the 928th Airlift Wing produced the highest savings of any base in this category. In addition, the Commission noted the City of Chicago would like to acquire the Air Reserve Station property for revenue producing development as outlined in the Commissions 1993 recommendation. Before the Reserve Station can close, however, the City must fund relocation of the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard units from OHare to another site acceptable to the Air Force and relocation of Army Reserve units to a site acceptable to the Secretary of the Army.

The Commission noted the Secretary of the Air Force supports the deactivation of the 928th Airlift Wing as a substitute for the Department of Defense recommendation, and to alleviate the expense to the City of Chicago in their compliance with the 1993 recommendation. The Air Force also supports relocation of the 126th Air Refueling Wing (ANG) to Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, and the remaining Air National Guard units to other locations within the State. The Commission found it necessary to close one C-130 Reserve Station. OHare provides the opportunity to support the Department of Defense efforts to reduce infrastructure and the City of Chicago’s desire to acquire OHare IAP ARS property for revenue producing development.

Commission Recommendation

The Commission finds the Secretary of Defense deviated substantially from final criteria 1, 4, and 5. Therefore, the Commission recommends the following: modify the closure of OHare IAP Air Reserve Station as recommended by the 1993 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission by deactivating the 928th Airlift Wing (AFRES), rather than relocating the unit, and distribute its C-130 aircraft to Air Force Reserve C-130 units at Dobbins ARB, Georgia and Peterson AFB, Colorado, or as appropriate. Close OHare IAP Air Reserve Station as proposed by the City of Chicago; relocate the 126th Air Refueling Wing (ANG) to Scott AFB, Illinois, and relocate the remaining assigned Air National Guard units to locations acceptable to the Secretary of the Air Force provided the City of Chicago can demonstrate that it has financing in place to cover the full cost of replacing facilities (except for FAA grants for airport planning and development that would otherwise be eligible for federal financial assistance to serve the needs of civil aviation at the receiving location), environmental impact analyses, moving, and any added costs of environmental cleanup resulting from higher standards or a faster schedule than DoD would be obliged to meet if the base did not close, without any cost whatsoever to the federal government. If the City of Chicago agrees to fund the full cost of relocating the Army Reserve activity, such activity shall also be relocated to a mutually acceptable site; otherwise it shall remain. Extend the commencement of the closure from the recommendation of the 1993 Commission to July, 1996 with a completion date no later than July, 1999. If these conditions are not met, the 126th Air Refueling Wing (ANG) and other assigned units will remain at OHare International Airport. The Commission finds this recommendation is consistent with the force-structure plan and final criteria.

Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana


Category: Large Aircraft and Missiles
Mission: Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles
One-time Cost: $26.5 million
Savings: 1996-2001: -$2.4 million (Cost)
Annual: $4.2 million
Return on Investment: 2002 (5 Years)
FINAL ACTION: Realign

Secretary of Defense Recommendation

Realign Malmstrom AFB. The 43rd Air Refueling Group and its KC-135 aircraft will relocate to MacDill AFB, Florida. All fixed-wing aircraft flying operations at Malmstrom AFB will cease and the airfield will be closed. A small airfield operational area will continue to be available to support the helicopter operations of the 40th Rescue Flight which will remain to support missile wing operations. All base activities and facilities associated with the 341st Missile Wing will remain.

Secretary of Defense Justification

Although the missile field at Malmstrom AFB ranked very high, its airfield resources can efficiently support only a small number of tanker aircraft. Its ability to support other large aircraft missions (bomber and airlift) is limited and closure of the airfield will generate substantial savings.

During the 1995 process, the Air Force analysis highlighted a shortage of refueling aircraft in the southeastern United States. The OSD direction to support the Unified Commands located at MacDill AFB creates an opportunity to relocate a tanker unit from the greater tanker resources of the northwestern United States to the southeast. Movement of the refueling unit from Malmstrom AFB to MacDill AFB will also maximize the cost-effectiveness of that airfield.

Community Concerns

The community argued the excess capacity and modern award winning facilities at Malmstrom Air Force Base can accommodate two more squadrons of KC-135 tankers. The community believes the Air Force should close Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota, and realign two of the tanker squadrons to Malmstrom AFB. This realignment would accomplish full closure of an Air Force base, assuming the Grand Forks missile field is closed as recommended by DoD, and would improve the tanker shortage in the southeastern United States. The community also argued the aircraft maximum take-off gross weight limitations impact a small percentage of the missions performed from Malmstrom AFB. The community argued that because the Malmstrom missile field is the largest missile field, it must be maintained to meet Commander-in-Chief Strategic Command requirements for a 500 Minuteman III missile force-structure.

Commission Findings

With 70 tankers based at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, the Commission found a saturation of KC-135 tanker support in the northwest continental United States. Also, the Commission found basing tankers at Malmstrom exacerbated the tanker saturation problem. On the other hand, the Commission found a shortfall in tanker capability in the southeastern United States. The Commission also took into consideration recent Secretary of Defense direction to the Air Force to continue to support joint command airlift deployment flying requirements at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. The Commission was concerned about operating limitations for the aircraft based at Malmstrom which could adversely impact on operational mission requirements. Aircraft at Malmstrom are unable to take-off fully loaded because of the 3,500 foot field elevation and 11,000 foot runway length. This limitation reduces tanker range and the amount of fuel available for receiver aircraft.

Commission Recommendation

The Commission finds the Secretary of Defense did not deviate substantially from the force-structure plan and final criteria. Therefore, the Commission recommends the following: realign Malmstrom Air Force Base. The 43rd Air Refueling Group and its KC-135 aircraft will relocate to MacDill AFB, Florida. All fixed-wing aircraft flying operations at Malmstrom AFB will cease and the airfield will be closed. A small airfield operational area will continue to be available to support the helicopter operations of the 40th Rescue Flight which will remain to support missile wing operations. All base activities and facilities associated with the 341st Missile Wing will remain.


Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico


Category: Product Center
Mission: Laboratory
One-time Cost: None
Savings: 1996-2001: None
Annual: None
Return on Investment: None
FINAL ACTION: Remain Open

Secretary of Defense Recommendation

Realign Kirtland AFB. The 58th Special Operations Wing will relocate to Holloman AFB, New Mexico. The AF Operational Test and Evaluation Center (AFOTEC) will relocate to Eglin AFB, Florida. The AF Office of Security Police (AFOSP) will relocate to Lackland AFB, Texas. The AF Inspection Agency and the AF Safety Agency will relocate to Kelly AFB, Texas. The Defense Nuclear Agency (DNA) will relocate to Kelly AFB, Texas (Field Command) and Nellis AFB, Nevada (High Explosive Testing). Some DNA personnel (Radiation Simulator operations) will remain in place. The Phillips Laboratory and the 898th Munitions Squadron will remain in cantonment. The AFRES and ANG activities will remain in existing facilities. The 377th ABW inactivates and all other activities and facilities at Kirtland AFB, including family housing will close. Air Force medical activities located in the Veterans Administration Hospital will terminate.

Secretary of Defense Justification

As an installation, Kirtland AFB rated low relative to other bases in the Laboratory and Product Center subcategory when all eight selection criteria were considered. The Laboratory Joint Cross-Service Group, however, gave the Phillips Laboratory operation a high functional value. This realignment will close most of the base, but retain the Phillips Laboratory, which has a high functional value and the 898th Munitions Squadron, which is not practical to relocate. Both of these activities are capable of operating with minimal military support. Also, the Sandia National Laboratory can be cantoned in its present location. This approach reduces infrastructure and produces significant annual savings, while maintaining those activities essential to the Air Force and the Department of Defense.

Community Concerns

The community argued the cost to close Kirtland Air Force Base would be much higher than the DoD estimate. The community’s estimate to realign Kirtland Air Force Base is $526 million, whereas the DoDs initial estimate to realign Kirtland Air Force Base was $275 million. The community also states the annual recurring savings that DoD projected of $62 million a year would actually be a cost to the United States government of $13 million a year. The community comments that DoD used only costs associated with DoD organizations, and that all costs to United States government organizations, such as the Department of Energy (DOE), should be considered. The community says that the realignment of Kirtland Air Force Base would have a negative impact on nuclear surety, and the cohesion between Defense Nuclear Agency (DNA) and DOE organizations located on Kirtland Air Force Base. The community notes that the 58th Special Operations Wing training would be disrupted for a period of six to 12 months. The community believes Kirtland Air Force Base was evaluated unfairly for air quality, and asserted that thousands could move to Kirtland Air Force Base without detrimental effects on local air quality. After the proposed realignment, the community would have access to only 5% percent of the installation because the remainder of the installation would be cantoned to support the missions remaining behind. Finally, the community notes that during previous base closure rounds the Air Force insisted that Kirtland was essential in supporting several irreplaceable research and testing facilities essential to DoD, DOE, and other government agencies.

Commission Findings

The Commission found the DoD recommendation to realign Kirtland Air Force Base would be very expensive to enact and the savings anticipated from the realignment would not be realized. The DoD originally estimated the one-time cost to realign Kirtland Air Force Base would be $275 million, and the annual recurring savings would be $62 million. After completing site surveys, the Air Force revised the estimate to realign Kirtland Air Force Base to $538 million, and the annual recurring savings to $33 million. Over and above these costs, the DOE presented information to the Commission that DOE would incur a one-time cost of $64 million, and an annual recurring cost of $32 million if the Secretary’s recommendation was adopted. When the Commission reviewed the total costs to the National Defense Budget, it found the one-time cost to enact this proposal to be $602 million with an annual recurring savings of $2 million. The Commission also found the realignment would have a detrimental effect on the mission of DNA. The recommendation would relocate most of the DNA personnel assigned on Kirtland Air Force Base to Kelly Air Force Base while leaving a number of DNA facilities at Kirtland Air Force Base. Also, because DNA’s mission is intrinsically tied to DOE, if this recommendation was enacted, key synergism between DNA and DOE would be lost. The Commission also found keeping Kirtland Air Force Base open results in better security for the Kirtland Underground Munitions Storage Complex. Finally, in a June 9, 1995, letter to the Commission, the Secretary of Defense stated, After reviewing the results of the site survey, it is my judgment that the recommendation for the realignment of Kirtland AFB no longer represents a financially or operationally sound scenario.

Commission Recommendation

The Commission finds the Secretary of Defense deviated substantially from the force-structure plan and final criteria 4 and 5. Therefore, the Commission recommends the following: Kirtland Air Force Base will remain open. The Commission finds this recommendation is consistent with the force-structure plan and final criteria.

Griffiss Air Force Base, New York
485th Engineering Installation Group


Category: 1993 Realignment
Mission: N/A
One-time Cost: $1.9 million
Savings: 1996-2001: $25.4 million
Annual: $2.9 million
Return on Investment: 1996 (Immediate)
FINAL ACTION: Redirect

Secretary of Defense Recommendation

Change the recommendation of the 1993 Commission regarding the transfer of the 485th Engineering Installation Group (EIG) from Griffiss AFB, New York, to Hill AFB, Utah, as follows: Inactivate the 485th EIG. Transfer its engineering functions to the 38th EIG at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma. Transfer its installation function to the 838th Electronic Installation Squadron (EIS) at Kelly AFB, Texas, and to the 938th EIS, McClellan AFB, California.

Secretary of Defense Justification

Reorganization of the installation and engineering functions will achieve additional personnel overhead savings by inactivating the 485th EIG and redistributing the remaining activities to other units. The originally planned receiver site for the 485th EIG at Hill AFB has proven to require costly renovation. This redirect avoids these additional, unforeseen costs while providing a more efficient allocation of work.

Community Concerns

There were no formal expressions from the community.

Commission Findings

The Commission found the Department of Defense recommendation to inactivate the 485th Engineering Installation Group would save money by avoiding military construction and by reducing personnel. The Commission has recommended closure of McClellan Air Force Base, and, thus, the Air Force will be unable to relocate a portion of the 485th Engineering Installation Group to that base as set out in the recommendation. The Commission found the 485th should move but allowed the Department of the Air Force to relocate this unit in accordance with operational requirements.

Commission Recommendation

The Commission finds the Secretary of Defense deviated substantially from final criterion 3. Therefore, the Commission recommends the following: change the recommendation of the 1993 Commission regarding the transfer of the 485th Engineering Installation Group (EIG) from Griffiss Air Force Base to Hill AFB, Utah, as follows: inactivate the 485th EIG. Transfer its engineering and installation functions as operational requirements dictate in accordance with Department of the Air Force policy. The Commission finds this recommendation is consistent with the force-structure plan and final criteria.

Griffiss Air Force Base, New York
Airfield Support for 10th Infantry (Light) Division


Category: 1993 Realignment
Mission: N/A
One-time Cost: $51.5 million
Savings: 1996-2001: $-21.4 million (cost)
Annual: $9.9 million
Return on Investment: 2004 (6 years)
FINAL ACTION: Redirect

Secretary of Defense Recommendation

Change the recommendation of the 1993 Commission regarding support of the 10th Infantry (Light) Division, Fort Drum, New York, at Griffiss AFB, as follows: Close the minimum essential airfield that was to be maintained by a contractor at Griffiss AFB and provide the mobility/contingency/training support to the 10th Infantry (Light) Division from the Fort Drum airfield. Mission essential equipment from the minimum essential airfield at Griffiss AFB will transfer to Fort Drum.

Secretary of Defense Justification

Operation of the minimum essential airfield to support Fort Drum operations after the closure of Griffiss AFB has proven to far exceed earlier cost estimates. Significant recurring operations and maintenance savings can be achieved by moving the mobility/contingency/training support for the 10th Infantry (Light) Division to Fort Drum and closing the minimum essential airfield operation at Griffiss. This redirect will permit the Air Force to meet the mobility/contingency/training support requirements of the 10th Infantry (Light) Division at a reduced cost to the Air Force. Having airfield support at its home location will improve 10th Infantry (Light) Divisions response capabilities, and will avoid the necessity of traveling significant distances, sometimes during winter weather, to its mobility support location. Support at Fort Drum can be accomplished by improvement of the existing Fort Drum airfield and facilities.

Community Concerns

There were no formal expressions from the community.

Commission Findings

The 1993 Commission recommended keeping a minimum essential runway . . . maintained and operated by a contractor. Since that recommendation, the cost to operate the runway has substantially exceeded original estimates. The Commission found closing the minimum essential runway on Griffiss Air Force Base and constructing a new runway on Fort Drum, New York, would save money and improve the operational capability of the 10th Infantry (Light) Division. Locating a runway directly on Fort Drum increases response capability and decreases response time.

Commission Recommendation

The Commission finds the Secretary of Defense did not deviate substantially from the force-structure plan and final criteria. Therefore, the Commission recommends the following: change the recommendation of the 1993 Commission regarding support of the 10th Infantry (Light) Division, Fort Drum, New York at Griffiss Air Force Base as follows: close the minimum essential airfield that was to be maintained by a contractor at Griffiss AFB and provide the mobility/contingency/ training support to the 10th Infantry (Light) Division from the Fort Drum airfield. Mission essential equipment from the minimum essential airfield at Griffiss AFB will transfer to Fort Drum.

Real-Time Digitally Controlled Analyzer Processor Activity,
Buffalo, New York


Category: Test & Evaluation Facility
Mission: Air Defense Ground Test Simulation Facility
One-time Cost: $3.7 million
Savings: 1996-2001: $-0.1 million (Cost)
Annual: $0.9 million
Return on Investment: 2002 (4 Years)
FINAL ACTION: Disestablish

Secretary of Defense Recommendation

Disestablish the Real-Time Digitally Controlled Analyzer Processor activity (REDCAP) at Buffalo, New York. Required test activities and necessary support equipment will be relocated to the Air Force Flight Test Center (AFFTC) at Edwards AFB, California. Any remaining equipment will be disposed of.

Secretary of Defense Justification

The Test and Evaluation Joint Cross-Service Group (JCSG) recommended that REDCAP’s capabilities be relocated to an existing facility at an installation with a Major Range and Test Facility Base (MRTFB) open air range. Projected workload for REDCAP is only 10 percent of its available capacity. AFFTC has capacity sufficient to absorb REDCAP’s workload. REDCAP’s basic hardware-in-the-loop infrastructure is duplicated at other Air Force T&E facilities. This action achieves significant cost savings and workload consolidation.

Community Concerns

The community argues the REDCAP activity is one of unique military value, and remains an effective instrument for testing Electronic Combat air defense equipment. The community maintains that in order to retain the unique test capabilities of the REDCAP activity, the entire mission must be transferred. The estimated cost submitted by the community to move the facility, is approximately $13.8-$15.6 million. The community claims the Department of Defense underestimated both the projected workload and customer utilization levels. The community explains that many of these test systems were being upgraded, and could not be fully utilized at the time workload estimates were being formulated. In addition, the community notes that the operation of particular test systems can inhibit the use of certain other systems. Finally, the community asserts they should not have been considered under the BRAC process because they are below the 300 federal civilian employee threshold, set forth in the statute.

Commission Findings

The Commission found that although the cost to disestablish the REDCAP activities is higher than that included in the recommendation, this action continued to result in overall annual savings. The Commission found the cost-to-close was significantly below those submitted by the community. The Commission found the Air Force had properly assessed the types of test capabilities required to be transferred to the receiving site. The Commission also found sufficient capacity existed at the receiver site. The Commission found this action reduced excess capacity by eliminating excess equipment and transferring just the 44 percent of the REDCAP test simulation equipment necessary for future requirements. The reduction of excess capacity, through the consolidation of electronic combat activities on military installations with Major Range Test Facility Bases (MRTFB), was one of the objectives of the Joint Cross-Service Group for Test & Evaluation. The Commission concurred in this objective. The Commission further found the receiver site was sufficiently capable of absorbing the estimated level of projected test workload as determined by the Commission. Finally, the Commission found the Air Force had jurisdiction to include this facility in its recommendation.

Commission Recommendation

The Commission finds the Secretary of Defense did not deviate substantially from the force-structure plan and final criteria. Therefore, the Commission recommends the following: disestablish the Real-Time Digitally Controlled Analyzer Processor Activity (REDCAP) at Buffalo, New York. Required test activities and necessary support equipment will be relocated to the Air Force Flight Test Center (AFFTC) at Edwards AFB, California. Any remaining equipment will be disposed of.

Rome Laboratory, New York


Category: Air Force Major Installation
Mission: Research and Development for Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence
One-time Cost: None
Savings: 1996-2001: None
Annual: None
Return on Investment: None
FINAL ACTION: Remain Open

Secretary of Defense Recommendation

Close Rome Laboratory, Rome, New York. Rome Laboratory activities will relocate to Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, and Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts. Specifically, the Photonics, Electromagnetic & Reliability (except Test Site O&M operations), Computer Systems, Radio Communications and Communications Network activities, with their share of the Rome Lab staff activities, will relocate to Fort Monmouth. The Surveillance, Intelligence & Reconnaissance Software Technology, Advanced C2 Concepts, and Space Communications activities, with their share of the Rome Laboratory staff activities, will relocate to Hanscom AFB. The Test Site (e.g., Stockbridge and Newport) O&M operations will remain at its present location but will report to Hanscom AFB.

Secretary of Defense Justification

The Air Force has more laboratory capacity than necessary to support current and projected Air Force research requirements. The Laboratory Joint Cross-Service Group analysis recommended the Air Force consider the closure of Rome Laboratory. Collocation of part of the Rome Laboratory with the Army’s Communications Electronics Research Development Evaluation Command at Fort Monmouth will reduce excess laboratory capacity and increase inter-service cooperation and common C3 research. In addition, Fort Monmouth’s location near unique civilian research activities offers potential for shared research activities. Those activities relocated to Hanscom AFB will strengthen Air Force C3I RDT&E activities by collocating common research efforts. This action will result in substantial savings and furthers the DoD goal of cross-service utilization of common support assets.

Community Concerns

The Griffiss AFB community does not believe Rome Laboratory should be closed and relocated as recommended by DoD. The community believes the lab should remain in its existing facilities as a stand-alone Air Force laboratory. Rome Laboratory has a large civilian work force and it is located in adequate and secure facilities that can be separated from the rest of Griffiss AFB, which was realigned in 1993. Rome Lab serves as the anchor tenant for the community’s Griffiss AFB reuse strategy, which includes a research park. The reuse plan is based on the Air Forces May 1993 comment to the Commission that: the Air Force has no plans to close or relocate the Rome Laboratory within the next five years. The lab is the Air Forces Tier I Center of Excellence for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I). The community believes the labs relocation will compromise its military value because its essential mission cannot be accomplished at multiple locations. If the DoD recommendation is implemented: (1) The labs activities will be split between three locations, which will reduce its mission effectiveness, (2) Many scientists and engineers will not relocate to these higher cost areas, (3) Classified and other important work will suffer unacceptable delays that customers will not tolerate, and (4) There will be no cross-servicing with the Army at Fort Monmouth. Moreover, the community believes there will be a negative return on investment because there will be no savings and costs will be significantly higher than stated in the DoD recommendation

Commission Findings

The Rome Laboratory has a large civilian work force and is located in adequate facilities that can be separated from the rest of Griffiss AFB, which is closing. For the past year, as a result of the Griffiss Air Force Base realignment recommended by the 1993 Commission, the community has been working to make the lab part of a high technology industrial park. The Commission found the costs to close Rome Laboratory and relocate its activities to Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, and Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts, were significantly understated and savings overstated. The Commission found the Air Force closure costs were difficult to estimate with any accuracy. Although difficult to ascertain, the Commission found the costs had increased substantially from the original. In addition, the Commission found that collocation of this facility at Ft. Monmouth would not add to the labs capability. While the move would reduce excess laboratory capacity, it would result in an unacceptable return on investment. Moreover, these actions would seriously degrade the laboratory’s ability to meet its current and future mission requirements.

Commission Recommendation

The Commission finds the Secretary of Defense deviated substantially from final criteria 1, 4, and 5. Therefore, the Commission recommends the following: Rome Laboratory will remain open. The Commission finds this recommendation is consistent with the force-structure plan and final criteria.

Roslyn Air Guard Station, New York


Category: Air National Guard
Mission: Combat Communications and Electronics Installation
One-time Cost: $ 14.2 million
Savings: 1996-2011: $ 9 million
Annual: $0.2 million
Return on Investment: 1999 (2 years)
FINAL ACTION: Close

Secretary of Defense Recommendation

Close Roslyn Air Guard Station (AGS) and relocate the 213th Electronic Installation Squadron (ANG) and the 274th Combat Communications Group (ANG) to Stewart International Airport AGS, Newburg, New York. The 722nd Aeromedical Staging Squadron (AFRES) will relocate to suitable leased space within the current recruiting area.

Secretary of Defense Justification

Relocation of the 213th Electronic Installation Squadron and 274th Combat Communications Group to Stewart International Airport AGS will produce a more efficient and cost-effective basing structure by avoiding some of the costs associated with maintaining the installation.

Community Concerns

The community is concerned about the loss of community services provided by the Guard Station. They also assert the costs of relocating the unit to Stewart International Airport are understated. Finally, the community has raised doubts as to whether the sale of the property for commercial development is realistic, given zoning restrictions.

Commission Findings

The Commission found personnel and base operating support savings would not exceed the cost of relocating of the Roslyn units. The Commission found this recommendation was not cost effective. The station is located on valuable residentially-zoned property. If the property can be sold at its fair market value, this recommendation is cost effective. The Commission identified no concerns about the ability to recruit Guardsmen at Stewart International Airport.

Commission Recommendation

The Commission finds the Secretary of Defense deviated substantially from final criteria 4 and 5. Therefore, the Commission recommends the following: close Roslyn Air Guard Station (AGS) and relocate the 213th Electronic Installation Squadron and the 274th Combat Communications Group to Stewart International Airport AGS, Newburg, New York if the Roslyn Air Guard Station can be sold for its fair market value. The 722nd Aeromedical Staging Squadron (AFRES) will relocate to suitable leased space within the current recruiting area. The Commission finds this recommendation is consistent with the force-structure plan and final criteria.

Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota


Category: Large Aircraft (Missile)
Mission: Strategic Deterrence/Strategic Mobility
One-time Cost : $11.9 million
Savings: 1996-2001: $111.7 million*
Annual: $35.2 million
Return on Investment: 1998 (Immediate)
FINAL ACTION: Realign

*The savings associated with the closure of the missile field were previously programmed in the Air Force budget.

Secretary of Defense Recommendation

Realign Grand Forks AFB. The 321st Missile Group will inactivate, unless prior to December 1996, the Secretary of Defense determines that the need to retain ballistic missile defense (BMD) options effectively precludes this action. If the Secretary of Defense makes such a determination, Minot AFB, North Dakota, will be realigned and the 91st Missile Group will inactivate.

If Grand Forks AFB is realigned, the 321st Missile Group will inactivate. Minuteman III missiles will relocate to Malmstrom AFB, Montana, be maintained at depot facilities, or be retired. A small number of silo launchers at Grand Forks may be retained if required. The 319th Air Refueling Wing will remain in place. All activities and facilities at the base associated with the 319th Air Refueling Wing, including family housing, the hospital, commissary, and base exchange will remain open.

If Minot AFB is realigned, the 91st Missile Group will inactivate. Minuteman III missiles will relocate to Malmstrom AFB, Montana, be maintained at depot facilities, or be retired. The 5th Bomb Wing will remain in place. All activities and facilities at the base associated with the 5th Bomb Wing, including family housing, the hospital, commissary, and base exchange will remain open.

Secretary of Defense Justification

A reduction in ICBM force structure requires the inactivation of one missile group within the Air Force. The missile field at Grand Forks AFB ranked lowest due to operational concerns resulting from local geographic, geologic, and facility characteristics. Grand Forks AFB also ranked low when all eight criteria are applied to bases in the large aircraft subcategory. The airfield will be retained to satisfy operational requirements and maintain consolidated tanker resources.

If the Secretary of Defense determines that the need to retain BMD options effectively precludes realigning Grand Forks, then Minot AFB will be realigned. The missile field at Minot AFB ranked next lowest due to operational concerns resulting from spacing, ranging and geological characteristics. Minot AFB ranked in the middle tier when all eight criteria are applied to bases in the large aircraft subcategory. The airfield will be retained to satisfy operational requirements.

Community Concerns

The community argues the Grand Forks missile field is the newest in the Air Force. It has always been considered fully capable of performing its assigned mission, and remains so today according to the Base Closure Executive Group. The community contends closing the Grand Forks missile field could send a misleading signal to the former Soviet Union that the United States intends to unilaterally change the Antiballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, and could jeopardize any future treaty negotiations with former Soviet republics. They believe closing the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) field would unduly restrict any future ballistic missile defense options and would require the dismantlement and demolition of the existing Grand Forks ABM facilities, significantly increasing the cost to close the Grand Forks ICBM field. The community argues the Air Force erred in excluding the Minuteman field at F.E. Warren AFB from consideration because the Peacekeeper missiles there are scheduled to complete their retirement in 2003, thus providing an opportunity for a complete base closure. They also argue that retaining Grand Forks AFB as a multi-mission base (ICBMs and tankers), and completely closing Malmstrom AFB, would provide significantly greater operating efficiencies and savings than the DoD proposal to realign the missile group at Grand Forks AFB and the tanker group at Malmstrom AFB. The community believes the 50 additional Minuteman missile silos at Malmstrom AFB should carry no weight in the analysis, because the Nuclear Posture Review specifically accepts an ICBM force of 450 or 500 Minuteman missiles. The community further argues the Air Force and DoD correctly assessed the military value of Grand Forks AFB in 1993 when selecting it as a core tanker base because of its ideal location, and its capacity, facilities, and infrastructure. They believe there is no tanker saturation problem in the north central United States because on average 66 percent of the Grand Forks tanker aircraft are deployed to forward operating locations. They also point out the runway was upgraded to Code 1 in 1994, there is a direct fuel supply pipeline feed to the base, an improved Type III hydrant system assures rapid and effective aircraft refueling capability, and state and local zoning guarantee no future runway encroachment problems. The community notes the evaluation criteria for Facilities Condition: Housing is based on the number of units needing upgrade to whole house standards not current condition. Finally, the community is concerned the University of North Dakota is a strong asset in the Grand Forks community and should be taken into account in the evaluation process.

Commission Findings

The Commission found all four Minuteman fields were fully capable, but the high water table at Grand Forks Air Force Base reduced survivability and required an increased level of on-site depot support. Total on-site support costs per Minuteman silo over the past three years were higher at Grand Forks AFB than at Minot or F.E. Warren AFBs, but lower than at Malmstrom AFB. Efforts to counter water intrusion accounted for five percent of these costs, and were highest at Grand Forks AFB. The missile alert rate at Grand Forks AFB has been consistently lower than at Minot AFB. The Commission agreed with the Air Forces decision to exclude F.E. Warren AFB from consideration because of a requirement for Peacekeeper missiles beyond the period under which Commission actions would be taken, and because of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) treaty implications of directing realignment of the only Peacekeeper missile base. In addition, the Commission agreed with the Commander-in-Chief of United States Strategic Command that retention of the Malmstrom AFB missile field was militarily important because of the presence of 50 additional Minuteman silos. Thus, retention of the Malmstrom AFB missile field took precedence over the economies associated with closing Malmstrom AFB and retaining a multi-mission base at Grand Forks AFB. At the time the recommendation was received from DoD, there was uncertainty about whether there were possible treaty implications for the Grand Forks antiballistic missile (ABM) system and ballistic missile defense that would preclude inactivation of the Grand Forks AFB Minuteman field. On May 9, 1995, the Commission received a letter from the Deputy Secretary of Defense stating that representatives of DoD, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the State Department, the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and the National Security Council Staff had determined that ABM treaty considerations would not preclude inactivation of the Grand Forks AFB Minuteman field. The letter also stated: Realignment of Minot AFB and inactivation of the 91st Missile Group is no longer a necessary alternative. Subsequent correspondence with DoD confirmed that inactivation of the Grand Forks AFB Minuteman field would not affect the right to retain an ABM deployment area at Grand Forks and would not require demolition of the existing ABM facilities. DoD, however, reiterated the fact that it could be necessary to leave a small number of empty Minuteman silos in place at Grand Forks AFB. Finally, the Commission found DoD included a one time cost of $5.5M for housing demolition at Grand Forks AFB, thereby increasing recurring savings by $3.7M annually. This appeared to be a sound investment strategy that produced substantial savings over time, but was not necessitated by a decision to realign Grand Forks AFB. Consequently, the costs and savings associated with this action were removed from the decision COBRA.

Commission Recommendation

The Commission finds the Secretary of Defense deviated substantially from the force-structure plan and final criterion 1. Therefore, the Commission recommends the following: realign Grand Forks Air Force Base. The 321st Missile Group will inactivate and Minuteman III missiles will relocate to Malmstrom AFB, Montana, be maintained at depot facilities, or be retired. A small number of silo launchers at Grand Forks AFB may be retained if required. The 319th Air Refueling Wing will remain in place. All activities and facilities at the base associated with the 319th Air Refueling Wing, including family housing, the hospital, commissary, and base exchange will remain open.


Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport
Air Guard Station, Ohio


Category: Air National Guard
Mission: Power Projection and Combat Communications
One-time Cost: None
Savings: 1996-2001: None
Annual: None
Return on Investment: None
FINAL ACTION: Remain Open

Secretary of Defense Recommendation

Close Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport Air Guard Station (AGS) and relocate the 178th Fighter Group (ANG), the 251st Combat Communications Group (ANG), and the 269th Combat Communications Squadron (ANG) to Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.

Secretary of Defense Justification

The 178th Fighter Group provides crash, fire and rescue, security police, and other base operating support services for ANG activities at Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport. By relocating to Wright-Patterson AFB, significant manpower and other savings will be realized by avoiding some of the costs associated with the installation.

Community Concerns

The community maintains that the quality of facilities and operating environment at Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport are superior to those at Wright-Patterson AFB. The community is also concerned about the Air National Guard/State share of base operating support costs at Wright Patterson AFB. Community officials assert that the savings associated with the proposed relocation are overstated because the Air Force analysis did not include all costs that would be incurred by basing the unit at Wright-Patterson AFB. The community is concerned about the continued existence of the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport if the Guard unit leaves, as a significant portion of airport revenues will be lost. The community is also concerned about the economic impact on the community if the station closes.

Commission Findings

The Commission found the extended return on investment and the inadequacy of facilities at Wright-Patterson AFB did not justify relocating the unit from its current location. Further, the Commission found the facilities and basing arrangement at Springfield-Beckley ideal for meeting the needs of the Air National Guard units. The Commission found the small savings generated by closure of the Springfield-Beckley facilities did not justify their closure and potential degradation to the units.

Commission Recommendation

The Commission finds the Secretary of Defense deviated substantially from final criteria 4 and 5. Therefore, the Commission recommends the following: Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport Air Guard Station will remain open. The Commission finds this recommendation is consistent with the force-structure plan and final criteria.

Greater Pittsburgh IAP Air Reserve Station, Pennsylvania


Category: Air Force Reserve
Mission: Tactical Airlift
One-time Cost: None
Savings: 1996-2001: None
Annual: None
Return on Investment: None
FINAL ACTION: Remain Open

Secretary of Defense Recommendation

Close Greater Pittsburgh IAP Air Reserve Station (ARS). The 911th Airlift Wing will inactivate and its C-130 aircraft will be distributed to Air Force Reserve C-130 units at Dobbins ARB, Georgia, and Peterson AFB, Colorado.

Secretary of Defense Justification

The Air Force Reserve has more C-130 operating locations than necessary to effectively support the Reserve C-130 aircraft in the Department of Defense (DoD) Force Structure Plan. Although Greater Pittsburgh ARS is effective at supporting its mission, its evaluation overall under the eight criteria supports its closure. Its operating costs are the greatest among Air Force Reserve C-130 operations at civilian airfields. In addition, its location near a number of AFRES and Air National Guard units provides opportunities for its personnel to transfer and continue their service without extended travel.

Community Concerns

The community believes the cost analysis of the air reserve stations in this category was faulty. Specifically, the base operating support costs experienced by one Air Force Reserve C-130 base was used as the cost for two other air reserve locations, as well as Pittsburgh IAP Air Reserve Station, resulting in false savings and cost information. Further, the community argues the Air Force did not consider the 30 acres of additional aircraft parking apron currently being used under a memorandum of agreement with Allegheny County. The community disagrees with the Air Force color code ranking for the airfield evaluation, facilities condition, and air quality and maintains that higher ranking in accordance with real conditions would enhance military value.

Commission Findings

The Commission found the costs to operate Pittsburgh International Airport (IAP) Air Reserve Station (ARS) and two other Air Force Reserve C-130 locations were inaccurate. With corrected data applied to the COBRA model, the Commission found Pittsburgh was one of the least costly installations to operate. The Air Force indicated they had received the offer of additional acreage at Pittsburgh IAP ARS, but determined it was inappropriate to act on the offer pending the outcome of the base closure process. Review of the November 1994 Airfield Pavement Evaluation substantiated the community’s assertions the airfield can accommodate all types of aircraft. Information submitted by the community demonstrates Allegheny County Bureau of Environmental Quality has applied to the US Environmental Protection Agency for air quality redesignation to attainment, having met air quality standards during 1991-93. The Commission found that the low operating costs and expansion opportunities were not fully considered by the Air Force.

Commission Recommendation

The Commission finds the Secretary of Defense deviated substantially from final criteria 4 and 5. Therefore, the Commission recommends the following: Greater Pittsburgh IAP Air Reserve Station will remain open. The Commission finds this recommendation is consistent with the force-structure plan and final criteria.

Air Force Electronic Warfare Evaluation Simulator Activity,
Fort Worth, Texas


Category: Test and Evaluation
Mission: Electronic Combat Simulation
One-time Cost: None
Savings: 1996-2001: None
Annual: None
Return on Investment: None
FINAL ACTION: Remain Open

Secretary of Defense Recommendation

Disestablish the Air Force Electronic Warfare Evaluation Simulator (AFEWES) activity in Fort Worth. Essential AFEWES capabilities and the required test activities will relocate to the Air Force Flight Test Center (AFFTC), Edwards AFB, California. Workload and selected equipment from AFEWES will be transferred to AFFTC. AFEWES will be disestablished and any remaining equipment will be disposed of.

Secretary of Defense Justification

The Test and Evaluation Joint Cross-Service Group (JCSG) recommended that AFEWES’s capabilities be relocated to an existing facility at an installation possessing a Major Range and Test Facility Base (MRTFB) open air range. Projected workload for AFEWES was only 28 percent of its available capacity. Available capacity at AFFTC is sufficient to absorb AFEWES’s workload. AFEWES’s basic hardware-in-the-loop infrastructure is duplicated at other Air Force Test and Evaluation facilities. This action achieves significant cost savings and workload consolidation.

Community Concerns

The community claims that no factual basis exists to support disestablishment and relocation of the Air Force Electronic Warfare Simulator Facility to Edwards Air Force Base as recommended by the Secretary of Defense. The community addressed each element of the rationale used by Air Force supporting the recommendation as well as the actual facts applicable to each issue as viewed by the community. Community concerns challenge Air Force positions on projected workload, cost savings, workload consolidation, infrastructure reductions and personnel reductions. Further, the community believes the proposed action is in conflict with congressional language in the fiscal year report of the Senate Appropriations Committee that requires a study addressing datalinking versus consolidation at least 120 days prior to the approval of any changes affecting electronic combat facilities.

Commission Findings

The Commission found disestablishment of the Air Force Electronic Warfare Simulator Facility is not cost effective. The Air Force estimated a cost to close of $8.9 million and a return on investment of 13 years. The Commission estimated the closure cost was $34.9 million and would result in a payback in excess of 100 years. The Commission estimated additional costs of $6 million for military construction at Edwards Air Force Base and $20 million for documentation, training and other support costs. The Commission also found that relocating electronic combat testing capabilities poses major technical risk because of the systems unique ability to evaluate fully aircraft in a dense threat environment. The Commission found that electronic datalinking is a sound and cost effective alternative to collocating Air Forces Electronic Warfare Simulator Facility on a major test range.

Commission Recommendation

The Commission finds the Secretary of Defense deviated substantially from final criteria 1, 4, and 5. Therefore, the Commission recommends the following: the Air Force Electronic Warfare Evaluation Simulator (AFEWES) will remain open. The Commission finds this recommendation is consistent with the force-structure plan and final criteria.

Bergstrom Air Reserve Base, Texas


Category: Air Force Reserve
Mission: Air Force Reserve Base, F-16 Fighter Operations
One-Time Cost: $17.4 million
Savings: 1996-2001: $75.2 million
Annual: $17.8 million
Return on Investment: 1996 (Immediate)

FINAL ACTION: Close


Secretary of Defense Recommendation

Close Bergstrom ARB. The 924th Fighter Wing (AFRES) will inactivate. The Wings F-16 aircraft will be redistributed or retire. Headquarters, 10th Air Force (AFRES), will relocate to Naval Air Station Fort Worth, Joint Reserve Base, Texas.

Secretary of Defense Justification

Due to Air Force Reserve fighter force drawdown, the Air Force Reserve has an excess of F-16 fighter locations. The closure of Bergstrom ARB is the most cost effective option for the Air Force Reserve. The relocation of Headquarters, 10th Air Force to NAS Fort Worth will also collocate the unit with one of its major subordinate units.

Community Concerns

The community argues there was a commitment on the part of the Air Force and both the 1991 and 1993 Commissions to keep Bergstrom Air Reserve Base open, if the community converted the base to a municipal airport. In May 1993, Austin voters approved a $400 million referendum to fund the airport project. The citizens of Austin voted for this measure, in part, to keep the reserves in Austin. The community claims they have upheld their part of the commitment. Beyond that, the community stresses its long military tradition makes it ideal for recruiting for the Reserves. They argue the base is capable of supporting either F-16 or KC-135 operations. In addition, joint training opportunities are enhanced at Bergstrom due to its proximity to the Army’s Fort Hood. This also enhances the mission of the Ground Combat Readiness Center (AFRES), a Security Police training unit. The community informed the Commission that several other DoD and Federal government agencies are actively seeking space at the base, including the Texas Army National Guard, the Naval Reserves, and a NASA flight detachment. The Regional Corrosion Control Facility (RCCF) was transferred by the Air Force to the Austin Municipal Airport Authority in September 1994. Due to its unique capability, Air Combat Command will contract for 100 aircraft per year to be processed by the RCCF. The community claims it makes economic and operational sense to locate the Reserves at Bergstrom to provide transient support for aircraft using the facility. Finally, the community contends the cost to station the Reserves at Bergstrom is much lower than the Air Force has stated. The community noted that when Austin takes over the airfield in October 1996, the cost to the Air Force will decrease further, putting Bergstrom at parity with Homestead.

Commission Findings

The Air Force overstated the savings for the closure of Bergstrom Air Reserve Base due to its failure to account for the decrease in base operating support costs, once the Austin city government assumes control of airport operations in 1996. Even so, the Commission found that closure of Bergstrom remains the most cost effective option in the Air Force Reserve F-16 category. Although the Reserve has an excess of two F-16 squadrons, the Commission found it necessary to close only one reserve installation. Additional closures would have an adverse impact on recruiting and operational readiness. Although the base has infrastructure in-place to support both F-16 and KC-135 aircraft, the Commission found that overall excess capacity in the Reserve category and cost savings factors require closure. The Commission also found other Reserve F-16 locations rate higher than Bergstrom for facilities, training, and joint operations. The RCCF contractor will provide all aircraft servicing support as part of its contract with Air Combat Command. The Ground Combat Readiness Center mission is under review by the Air Force; if the mission remains, either Carswell or other facilities in the area are satisfactory transfer locations. The Air Force and previous Commission commitments regarding the development of the Austin airport at Bergstrom were conditioned upon future Air Force force-structure requirements remaining stable.


Commission Recommendation

The Commission finds the Secretary of Defense did not deviate substantially from the force-structure plan and final criteria. Therefore, the Commission recommends the following: close Bergstrom Air Reserve Base. The 924th Fighter Wing (AFRES) will inactivate. The Wings F-16 aircraft will be redistributed or retire. Headquarters, 10th Air Force (AFRES), will relocate to Naval Air Station Fort Worth, Joint Reserve Base, Texas.

Brooks Air Force Base, Texas


Category: Product Center and Laboratory
Mission: Human systems research and product development
One-time Cost: None
Savings: 1996-2001: None
Annual: None
Return on Investment: None
FINAL ACTION: Remain Open

Secretary of Defense Recommendation

Close Brooks AFB. The Human Systems Center, including the School of Aerospace Medicine and Armstrong Laboratory, will relocate to Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, however, some portion of the Manpower and Personnel function, and the Air Force Drug Test laboratory, may relocate to other locations. The 68th Intelligence Squadron will relocate to Kelly AFB, Texas. The Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence will relocate to Tyndall AFB, Florida. The 710th Intelligence Flight (AFRES) will relocate to Lackland AFB, Texas. The hyperbaric chamber operation, including associated personnel, will relocate to Lackland AFB, Texas. All activities and facilities at the base including family housing and the medical facility will close.

Secretary of Defense Justification

The Air Force has more laboratory capacity than necessary to support current and projected Air Force research requirements. When compared to the attributes desirable in laboratory activities, the Armstrong Lab and Human Systems Center operations at Brooks AFB contributed less to Air Force needs as measured by such areas as workload requirements, facilities, and personnel. As an installation, Brooks AFB ranked lower than the other bases in the Laboratory and Product Center subcategory.


Community Concerns

The community believes that if Brooks moves, the existing synergy within San Antonio’s one-of-a-kind biomedical community, would be significantly impaired. While the community would prefer that Brooks remain open, it has developed an alternative plan that would canton most activities at Brooks. Under the community’s cantonment plan, the Human Systems Center, Armstrong Laboratory, School of Aerospace Medicine and the Center for Environmental Excellence would be retained, while the remainder of Brooks would close and other tenants would relocate. Specific boundaries would be determined by the Air Force. Base operation and other support would be provided by nearby Lackland or Kelly. The community argues that the cantonment (1) is cost effective (2) offers an immediate return on investment, (3) preserves existing synergy, and (4) avoids risk to existing research missions.

Commission Findings

The Commission found that closing Brooks AFB would have required a significant upfront cost of at least $211.5 million. Closure of Brooks AFB would interrupt critical ongoing research. The Commission found that the delays associated with re-accreditation of equipment and laboratories at the receiving sites were unacceptable. The Commission found that the move would also create one of two equally unacceptable events–either large numbers of people would move, keeping the costs high, or large numbers of people would not move, interrupting vital research. In a response to a survey, more than half the professional staff said they would not move. In addition, the Commission found that if the Brooks human systems research mission were relocated, existing synergy with the large San Antonio military and civilian biomedical communities would be lost.

While excess capacity exists at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, the primary receiving location, the excess is mainly office space and is not currently suited to accommodate Brooks research activities. The Air Force projects it would have to construct or renovate nearly 1 million square feet to be able to take on the Brooks mission. Brooks currently operates in excellent, world-class facilities.

The Commission found the community’s cantonment proposal would have saved, at a minimum, the $211.5 million upfront cost to close, would have offered additional annual savings of nearly $18 million and net present value savings of $248 million. The cantonment savings were credible, and were similar to those shown in Air Force certified COBRA’s compiled at the request of the Commission. In addition, cantonment would have preserved existing synergies, allowed portions of Brooks to be made available for re-use, and saved opportunity costs.

The Air Force informed the Commission that it would prefer to keep Brooks open rather than place Brooks into cantonment. The Air Force believes cantonment, in general, is awkward and unworkable in the long term. The Commission found the costs and disruption to research that would result from relocation unacceptable. The Commission rejected the Air Forces original recommendation to close Brooks AFB and deferred to the Air Force request to have Brooks AFB remain open rather than place the missions activities into an enclave area.

Commission Recommendation

The Commission finds the Secretary of Defense deviated substantially from final criteria 1, 4, and 5. Therefore, the Commission recommends the following: Brooks Air Force Base will remain open. The Commission finds this recommendation is consistent with the force-structure plan and final criteria.

Kelly Air Force Base, Texas


Category: Air Force Installation
Mission: Provide depot maintenance and materiel management support to the Air Force
One-time Cost: $412.8 million
Savings: 1996-2001: $106.2 million
Annual: $178.5 million
Return on Investment: 2001 (1 year)
FINAL ACTION: Realign

Secretary of Defense Recommendation

None. The Commission added this military installation to the list of bases to be considered by the Commission for closure and realignment as a proposed change to the list of recommendations submitted by the Secretary of Defense.

Community Concerns

The San Antonio Community believes the Air Force tiering system was subjective and did not recognize the true value of Kelly Air Force Base or the San Antonio Air Logistics Center. The community believes the environmental condition was misstated by DoD. The community stated that the water use issue that resulted in a low environmental score has been corrected, but asserted the Air Force failed to revise the bases environmental score. The closure of Kelly Air Force Base would have a severe economic impact; it would result in a 73 percent increase in San Antonio Hispanic unemployment (60% of Kelly employees are Hispanic, 45% of Hispanics employed by the Air Force are employed at Kelly). Concern was expressed that the middle class Hispanic community would be devastated.

Commission Findings

The Commission found that the significant excess capacity and infrastructure in the Air Force depot system requires closure of the San Antonio Air Logistics Center (ALC). The Air Force recommendation to downsize all five Air Force ALC depots through mothballing excess space would reduce the amount of space utilized by the depot but would not eliminate infrastructure and overhead costs. Downsizing would result in the elimination of depot direct labor personnel, but not overhead personnel. The Commission found that closure of the San Antonio ALC, and related activities at Kelly AFB, including the distribution depot and information processing megacenter, permits significantly improved utilization of the remaining depots and reduces DoD operating costs.

The low military value tier assigned by the Air Force was second among the factors considered in the determination to realign Kelly AFB and the San Antonio ALC. The Air Force tier ranking system uses rankings of I through III with tier III being the lowest rank. (At the request of the Air Force, the DoD Joint Cross Service Group used the tiering system as a proxy for military value). Kelly AFB and the depot at the San Antonio ALC received tier III rankings. The Community expressed concern the Air Force military value was subjective. The Commission agreed that the determination of military value is complex and difficult to translate into easily auditable numbers. The tier is an appropriate description of the collective military judgment of the officials on the Air Force Base Closure Executive Group.

The proximity of Kelly AFB to Lackland AFB, Texas was also considered in the determination to realign Kelly AFB. Lackland AFB will be able to provide support to a realigned Kelly AFB. Through consolidation of support costs, the Commission found the Air Force could achieve substantial savings.

The Commission found the cost to realign Kelly AFB to be less than that estimated by the DoD and the annual savings significantly greater the DoDs estimate. The differences in cost and savings estimates are based on differing closure assumptions of the Air Force and Commission. The Commission assumed that a depot closure and consolidation of work would permit a personnel reduction of 15% of selected ALC personnel and a 50% reduction of management overhead personnel. The Air Force did not reflect any direct labor personnel savings due to a closure and reflected a 20% reduction in overhead personnel. The Commission assumed that closure would occur over a five year period, and the Air Force assumed six years. Another significant factor explaining the difference between savings estimates is that Air Force assumed all personnel savings would occur in the last year of implementation; the Commission assumed that personnel eliminations would be evenly phased over a four year period. The Commission also did not agree with a number of one-time costs that the Air Force considered to be directly related to closure.

The level of Hispanic employment at Kelly AFB was recognized by the Commission. The Commission took steps to minimize the negative economic impact on the community by cantoning a significant portion of the Kelly AFB activities. The Commission recommends that the DoD make maximum use of the priority placement system and take steps to retain the Kelly employees within DoD.

The Commission staff presented data indicating large annual savings could be realized by consolidating engine maintenance activities at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma. Both Kelly and Tinker are operating at less than 50% of their engine maintenance capacity. These savings would be in addition to those shown in the Commissions COBRA summaries. The Commission urges the Air Force to consolidate engine maintenance activity at Tinker to reduce excess capacity. The Commission firmly believes that consolidation of engine activities will result in lower costs and increased efficiencies.

Each of the Air Logistics Centers operated by the Air Force are excellent organizations. The San Antonio community is clearly supportive of the military and the ALC. The decision to close the San Antonio ALC is a difficult one; but given the significant amount of excess depot capacity and limited Defense resources, closure is a necessity. The Commissions cantonment decision permits closure of the San Antonio ALC and related activities without disruption of the other military missions on the base. The San Antonio ALC closure will permit improved utilization of the remaining ALCs and substantially reduce DoD operating costs.

Commission Recommendation

The Commission finds the Secretary of Defense deviated substantially from the force-structure plan and final criteria 1, 4, and 5. Therefore, the Commission recommends the following: realign Kelly Air Force Base including the Air Logistics Center. Disestablish the Defense Distribution Depot, San Antonio. Consolidate the workloads to other DoD depots or to private sector commercial activities as determined by the Defense Depot Maintenance Council. Move the required equipment and any required personnel to the receiving locations. The airfield and all associated support activities and facilities will be attached to Lackland AFB, Texas as will the following units: the Air Intelligence Agency including the Cryptologic Depot; the 433rd Airlift Wing (AFRES); the 149th Fighter Wing (ANG), and; the 1827th Engineering Installation Squadron (EIS). The Commission finds this recommendation is consistent with the force-structure plan and final criteria.

Reese Air Force Base, Texas


Category: Undergraduate Flying Training
Mission: Undergraduate Pilot Training
One-Time Cost: $46.4 million
Savings: 1996-2001: $95.7 million
Annual: $32.4 million
Return on Investment: 1999 (2 Years)

FINAL ACTION: Close

Secretary of Defense Recommendation

Close Reese AFB. The 64th Flying Training Wing will inactivate and its assigned aircraft will be redistributed or retired. All activities and facilities at the base including family housing and the hospital will close.

Secretary of Defense Justification

The Air Force has more Undergraduate Flying Training (UFT) bases than necessary to support Air Force pilot training requirements consistent with the Department of Defense (DoD) Force Structure Plan. When all eight criteria are applied to the bases in the UFT category, Reese AFB ranks low relative to the other bases in the category. Reese AFB ranked lower when compared to other UFT bases when evaluated on such factors as weather (e.g., crosswinds, density altitude) and airspace availability (e.g., amount of airspace available for training, distance to training areas). Reese AFB was also recommended for closure in each alternative recommended by the DoD Joint Cross-Service Group for Undergraduate Pilot Training.

Community Concerns

The community argues the Air Force has always rated Reese very high in the past. As proof of this, they point to the selection of Reese as the first specialized undergraduate pilot training site with the introduction of the T-1 training aircraft, and initiation of the consolidation of undergraduate pilot training (UPT) with the Navy in a joint primary training program. The community questions whether Reese is being downgraded because it lacks actual ownership and control of required airspace, even though access to the airspace it uses for UPT training activities is unimpeded. They question the use of weather attrition factors such as icing and crosswinds. Crosswinds were used as a limiting factor at Reese but icing was not used as a limiting factor at Vance AFB, Oklahoma. The Air Force configures each of its UPT bases nearly the same, consequently the community believes the UPT-JCSG (Joint Cross-Service Group) analysis is suspect because it shows Reese substantially inferior to the other bases. The community argues the Air Force is underestimating future pilot training requirements. If these estimates prove to be incorrect, closing Reese will result in the loss of needed training capacity. The community believes the Air Force is ignoring a quality of life indicator: Reese AFB is the number one choice of student and instructor pilots in Air Education Training Command (AETC) for base of assignment; base accessibility is enhanced by its proximity to a large international airport served by major jet airlines; and Reese offers superior higher education opportunities. In addition, because of the significantly high quality medical facilities the city has made available to the base, the Reese Clinic has been able to execute right-sizing initiatives. The community believes these factors combine to reduce significantly the cost to the Air Force of operating Reese AFB.

Commission Findings

The Commission found the decrease in pilot training requirements resulting from the drawdown in force structure has created excess capacity in the UFT category. After the 1991 round, the Air Force did not plan to close another UPT base. Air Force evaluations of UPT bases that led to the decision to place the T-1 Airlift/Tanker training aircraft at Reese AFB first reflected the need to station the aircraft at a base that would allow easy airline access for contractor personnel, rather than a judgment on the military value of the base. Similarly, joint primary training with the Navy was initiated at Reese because it was the only Air Force UPT base that had transitioned to the new primary training syllabus required for the joint program, a direct result of the T-1 introduction. In conducting its review of bases for the 1995 round of base closures, the Air Force evaluated UPT bases on their functional value to perform undergraduate pilot training. The functional value of Reese AFB, as determined by the UPT Joint Cross-Service Group, was initially questioned by the Commission as a result of the community’s concerns. After conducting an independent staff analysis of functional value, the Commission validated the Air Force ranking. This analysis included evaluations of icing and airspace issues, concerns expressed by the community. Functional value is the primary determinant of military value in the UFT category. Quality of life was an issue addressed at each UPT base. Commission staff conducted interviews with instructors, students, and their spouses to determine the quality of life at each base. Each community has put programs in place to support the military in locating off-base housing, employment, education, and health care, and is fully committed to providing the military the highest possible quality of life. The commission found closure of one Air Force UPT base contains some risk due to uncertainty about future pilot retention rates, airline hiring, and Reserve requirements. The Commission found the Air Force has many options available to it to meet future requirements using the remaining UFT and Small Aircraft category bases. The commission found any risk to the ability of the Air Force to meet its pilot training requirements is acceptable.

Commission Recommendation

The Commission finds the Secretary of Defense did not deviate substantially from the force-structure plan and final criteria. Therefore, the Commission recommends the following: close Reese Air Force Base. The 64th Flying Training Wing will inactivate and its assigned aircraft will be redistributed or retired. All activities and facilities at the base including family housing and the hospital will close.

Hill Air Force Base, Utah
(Utah Test and Training Range)


Category: Test Facility
Mission: Test and Evaluation
One-time Cost: $0.2 million
Savings: 1996-2001: $34.1 million
Annual: $6.3 million
Return on Investment: 1996 (Immediate)
FINAL ACTION: Realign

Secretary of Defense Recommendation

Realign Hill AFB, Utah. The permanent Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) test range activity at Utah Test and Training Range (UTTR) will be disestablished. Management responsibility for operation of the UTTR will transfer from AFMC to Air Combat Command (ACC). Personnel, equipment and systems required for use by ACC to support the training range will be transferred to ACC. Additional AFMC manpower associated with operation of the range will be eliminated. Some armament/weapons Test and Evaluation (T& E) workload will transfer to the Air Force Development Test Center (AFDTC), Eglin AFB, Florida, and the Air Force Flight Test Center (AFFTC), Edwards AFB, California. Note: The Commission voted that Hill Air Force Base, UT, currently on the list of bases recommended by the Secretary of Defense for realignment, be considered by the Commission for closure or to increase the extent of the realignment.

Secretary of Defense Justification

Most of the current T&E activities can be accomplished at other T&E activities (AFFTC and AFDTC). Disestablishing the AFMC test range activities and transferring the range to ACC will reduce excess T&E capacity within the Air Force. Retaining the range as a training range will preserve the considerable training value offered by the range and is consistent with the current 82 percent training use of the range. Retention of the range as a training facility will also allow large footprint weapons to undergo test and evaluation using mobile equipment.

Community Concerns

There were no formal expressions from the community.

Commission Findings

The Commission found no reason to disagree with the recommendation of the Secretary of Defense.

Commission Recommendation

The Commission finds the Secretary of Defense did not deviate substantially from the force-structure plan and final criteria. Therefore, the Commission recommends the following: realign Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The permanent Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) test range activity at Utah Test and Training Range (UTTR) will be disestablished. Management responsibility for operation of the UTTR will transfer from AFMC to Air Combat Command (ACC). Personnel, equipment and systems required for use by ACC to support the training range will be transferred to ACC. Additional AFMC manpower associated with operation of the range will be eliminated. Some armament/weapons Test and Evaluation (T&E) workload will transfer to the Air Force Development Test Center (AFDTC), Eglin AFB, Florida, and the Air Force Flight Test Center (AFFTC), Edwards AFB, California.

Air Logistics Centers

Category: Air Logistics Centers
Mission: Maintenance Depots
One-time Cost: None
Savings: 1996-2001: None
Annual: None
Return on Investment: None
FINAL ACTION: Rejected

Secretary of Defense Recommendation

Realign the Air Logistics Centers (ALC) at Hill AFB, Utah; Kelly AFB, Texas; McClellan AFB, California; Robins AFB, Georgia; and Tinker AFB, Oklahoma. Consolidate the followings workloads at the designated receiver locations:

Commodity/Workload Receiving Locations

Composites and plastics SM-ALC, McClellan AFB
Hydraulics SM-ALC, McClellan AFB
Tubing manufacturing WR-ALC, Robins AFB
Airborne electronic automatic WR-ALC, Robins AFB, OC-
equipment software ALC, Tinker AFB, OO-ALC,
Hill AFB
Sheet metal repair and manufacturing OO-ALC, Hill AFB, WR-
ALC, Robins AFB
Machining manufacturing OC-ALC, Tinker AFB, WR-
ALC, Robins AFB
Foundry operations SA-ALC, Kelly AFB, OO-
ALC, Hill AFB
Instruments/displays SM-ALC, McClellan AFB
(some unique work remains
at OO-ALC, Hill AFB and
WR-ALC, Robins AFB)
Airborne electronics WR-ALC, Robins AFB, OC-
ALC, Tinker AFB, OO-ALC, Hill AFB
Electronic manufacturing WR-ALC, Robins AFB
(printed wire boards)
Electrical/mechanical support equipment SM-ALC, McClellan AFB
Injection molding SM-ALC, McClellan AFB
Industrial plant equipment software SA-ALC, Kelly AFB
Plating OC-ALC, Tinker AFB, OO-
ALC, Hill AFB, SA-ALC,
Kelly AFB, WR-ALC, Robins AFB

Move the required equipment and any required personnel to the receiving location. These actions will create or strengthen Technical Repair Centers at the receiving locations in the respective commodities. Minimal workload in each of the commodities may continue to be performed at the other ALCs as required.

Secretary of Defense Justification

Reductions in force structure have resulted in excess depot maintenance capacity across Air Force depots. The recommended realignments will consolidate production lines and move workload to a minimum number of locations, allowing the reduction of personnel, infrastructure, and other costs. The net effect of the realignments is to transfer approximately 3.5 million direct labor hours and to eliminate 37 product lines across the five depots. These actions will allow the Air Force to demolish or mothball facilities, or to make them available for use by other agencies. These consolidations will reduce excess capacity, enhance efficiencies, and produce substantial cost savings without the extraordinary one-time costs associated with closing a single depot.

This action is part of a broader Air Force effort to downsize, reduce depot capacity and infrastructure, and achieve cost savings in a financially prudent manner consistent with mission requirements. Programmed work reductions, downsizing through contracting or transfer to other Service depots, and the consolidation of workloads recommended above result in the reduction of real property infrastructure equal to 1.5 depots, and a reduction in manhour capacity equivalent to about two depots. The proposed moves also make available over 25 million cubic feet of space to the Defense Logistics Agency for storage and other purposes, plus space to accept part of the Defense Nuclear Agency and other displaced Air Force missions. This approach enhances the cost effectiveness of the overall Department of Defenses closure and realignment recommendations. The downsizing of all depots is consistent with DoD efforts to reduce excess maintenance capacity, reduce cost, improve efficiency of depot management, and increase contractor support for DoD requirements.

TINKER
Impacts: Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 3,040 jobs (1,180 direct jobs and 1,860 indirect jobs) over the 1996-to-2001 period in the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is 0.5 percent of the economic areas employment. The cumulative economic impact of all BRAC 95 recommendations and all prior-round BRAC actions in the economic area over the 1994-to-2001 period could result in a maximum potential decrease equal to 0.3 percent of employment in the economic area. Environmental impact from this action is minimal and ongoing restoration of Tinker AFB will continue.
ROBINS
Impacts: Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 1,168 jobs (534 direct jobs and 634 indirect jobs) over the 1996-to-2001 period in the Macon, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is 0.7 percent of the economic areas employment. The cumulative economic impact of all BRAC 95 recommendations and all prior-round BRAC actions in the economic area over the 1994-to-2001 period could result in a maximum potential decrease equal to 0.7 percent of employment in the economic area. Environmental impact from this action is minimal and ongoing restoration of Robins AFB will continue.
KELLY
Impacts: Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 1,446 jobs (555 direct jobs and 891 indirect jobs) over the 1996-to-2001 period in the San Antonio, Texas Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is 0.2 percent of the economic areas employment. The cumulative economic impact of all BRAC 95 recommendations, including the relocation of some Air Force activities into the San Antonio area, and all prior-round BRAC actions in the economic area over the 1994-to-2001 period could result in a maximum potential decrease equal to 0.9 percent of employment in the economic area. Environmental impact from this action is minimal and ongoing restoration will continue.
McCLELLAN and HILL
Impacts: The recommendations pertaining to consolidations of workloads at these two centers are not anticipated to result in employment losses or significant environmental impact.

Community Concerns

Kelly Air Force Base, San Antonio
· The Kelly Community has not expressed an objection to the DoD plan to downsize all 5 Air Force depots.

McClellan Air Force Base, Sacramento California
· The original DoD recommendation would result in a net gain of 14 personnel. The Air Force revised its BRAC recommendations several times; the final iteration would result in a loss of 521 personnel from the depot. The original BRAC recommendation would have single-sited instrument work at McClellan. The revised BRAC recommendation would locate the instrument work at two other depots. The community points out that the revised BRAC recommendation is at odds with Air Force policy to single site depot work.

Robins Air Force Base, Macon Georgia
· The Air Force BRAC recommendations would result in the reduction of depot workload. The community notes that this reduction would be in addition to many years of downsizing of the Air Force depot system. The DoD BRAC recommendation threatens to make Robins inefficient and noncompetitive because overhead costs remain relatively unchanged while the amount of depot work will be reduced.

Hill Air Force Base – Ogden, UT
· The community argued that realignment of Hill Air Force Base as recommended by the Department of Defense assumes a 15 percent savings from reengineering which might be difficult to achieve. They questioned how mothballing unneeded buildings would save money. The community strongly believes the Ogden Air Logistics Center should be considered as a receiver for the consolidated tactical missile maintenance workload, in the event the Letterkenny Army Depot is realigned or closed.

Tinker Air Force Baser Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
· The community questioned how mothballing of unneeded buildings, as required by the Department of Defense recommendation, would save money. The community also objected to Tinkers depot work being transferred to lower tiered depots. Tinker community officials strongly support transfer of aircraft and engine workload from other DoD facilities being studied for closure or realignment.

Commission Findings

See McClellan AFB, California and Kelly AFB, Texas.

Commission Recommendation

Commission rejects DoDs downsizing proposal. See McClellan AFB, California and Kelly AFB, Texas.

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