Sen. Kaine questions need for new round of base closings

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by Mike Gooding, 13News

WVEC.com

Posted on April 25, 2013 at 9:54 AM

Updated Thursday, Apr 25 at 10:21 AM

WASHINGTON, DC - Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) told 13News that base closings don't save taxpayers as much money as advertised.

He responded to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's call for base closings in 2015.

The Senate Armed Services Committee grilled Department of Defense officials about the plan Wednesday.

“From what I’ve seen, the BRAC rounds don’t save that much money,” said Kaine.

John C. Conger, acting deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment, told lawmakers that $8 billion in annual, recurring savings from the first four rounds of BRAC in 1988, 1991, 1993 and 1995. BRAC 2005 is producing another $4 billion in annual savings through avoided costs for base operating support, personnel and leasing costs, he testified.

He did admit implementing the last round cost so much more than anticipated.

 

The base closing commission decided to close Fort Monroe in Hampton as an active Army post and NAS Oceana escaped the final cut.

Kaine says he’s confident Oceana should survive any BRAC threat.

I think Oceana is in a better posture today than we were seven years ago because the state and Virginia Beach have shown good faith by spending a lot of money. I worked on this when I was governor to reduce encroachment,” he said.

"Congress has already demanded these civilian personnel cuts, and if they are not made through BRAC, they will need to be made elsewhere," Conger argued.

 

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