WASHINGTON, Nov. 9, 2005 The Base Realignment and Closure Commission's recommendations for reshaping the Defense Department's infrastructure and force structure officially took effect at 12:01 a.m. today after Congress allowed them to pass into law at the mandated Nov. 8 deadline. The nine-member BRAC panel delivered its final report to President Bush Sept. 8, and he, in turn, sent it to Congress for legislative review Sept. 15. Congress had 45 legislative days, until Nov. 9, to accept or reject the report in its entirety. However, it was not authorized to make any changes to the final report. By statute, the Defense Department now has until Sept. 15, 2007 -- two years from the date President Bush sent Congress the BRAC commission's final report -- , to begin closing and realigning the installations as called for in the report. The process must be completed by Sept. 15, 2011, DoD officials explained. The 2005 BRAC recommendations represent the most aggressive BRAC ever proposed, affecting more than 800 installations, officials said. The four previous BRAC rounds -- in 1988, 1991, 1993 and 1995 - resulted in 97 major closures, 55 major realignments and 235 minor actions, according to DoD figures. Overall, closing and realigning these installations saved taxpayers around $18 billion though fiscal 2001 and a further $7 billion per year since, officials said. DefenseLink News Article: BRAC Deadline Expires; DoD to Begin Closures, Realignments A symbol of Lackland AFB's rise to prominence in the modern Air Force for more than 50 years, Wilford Hall Medical Center will be demolished and replaced by a new facility as early as next year. The Pentagon has hired an architect and construction company to design the project, listed as a top priority by Defense Department officials. Tearing down Wilford Hall and building a new outpatient clinic are expected to cost at least $440 million. But for now, one thing is missing: money from Congress. The Air Force and the Department of Defense have clearly chosen that direction to go, and we have some indication that the Congress is supportive, said Cem Maxwell, deputy director of the San Antonio Joint Program Office, which oversees 78 base closure construction projects. But we don't have the check in hand yet, at least for the construction. Congressional funding is expected for the project, part of a set of sweeping changes in how the military provides health care and training. Maxwell said $3.75 billion had been included for health facilities construction in one version of the economic stimulus bill, but the amount was cut by a House-Senate conference committee. Still, I'm confident we're going in the right direction because we have the funding and the authority to proceed with design, he said. One of three Level 1 trauma centers in town, Wilford Hall will merge its inpatient services with Brooke Army Medical Center. The 2005 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission, commonly known as BRAC, ordered Wilford Hall to become an outpatient clinic, and it set aside funds for a partial renovation of the hospital. Wilford Hall to be razed; new clinic will go up In 1987, Congress enacted the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act. Title V of that Act made serving the homeless the first priority for use of all surplus Federal properties, including military installations. Congress did not anticipate the scope of military base closures and realignments nor how the Title V priority of the McKinney Act would affect reuse of the installations. http://www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/homeless/programs/brac/guide/guide.pdf The reason I started this thread is to show people that there are many ways the Govt. can provide for people that are in need if the would apply some common sense rather than looking to just throw money at a solution, especially money we do not have. Take the Medical Installation in San Antonio that will be demolished, I have personally been there more than once it was a large facility, yes, it was located on an AFB however a problem solved if it meant providing low cost healthcare to the thousands of local residents without it. There is a base in San Antonio called Brooks that is somewhat closed already with many buildings just sitting empty, can you imagine a nation that would recondition those homes and give them to its wounded warriors as a simple thank you rather than letting them fall into ruin, and rather than letting those warriors perhaps end up in poverty. What about converting the facilities into a campus? As you can see there are many things that can be done with money that has been spent and with facilities that are in place, shoud our govt. so decide to actually take the time to do the hard work needed. These are just suggestions and frankly some that should be worth consideration in my opinion.. Thats just one abandoned hospital that the govt. just let go and we are talking about lack of medical care?