It is not a question of if but rather when the next round of Base Realignment and Closures (BRAC) will begin. Maryland officials have begun to prepare for potential cuts and to positively position the state as the Army works to cut down its number of active-duty soldiers and calls on Congress for a BRAC in 2017. As reported in The Baltimore Sun:
It’s not certain yet, but the potential for a new round of BRAC in the coming years was the main topic last week for the Maryland Military Installation Council, which brings dozens of military, state, local and business leaders together for regular meetings.
The state Department of Business and Economic Development is talking to locally based military commanders about their needs, coordinating with the congressional delegation and quantifying the installations’ economic impact.
Meanwhile, groups that support Aberdeen Proving Ground and two other sizable Maryland installations are working on studies that could help them identify and fix problems before any become BRAC black marks.
“The results of that study would be critically important for helping us understand how the Department of Defense might assess APG,” said Jill M. McClune, president of the Army Alliance, a nonprofit group that advocates for the installation in Harford County. “We want to position ourselves so we’re viewed positively.”
The logic of preparing now is that defense spending reductions will happen, BRAC or no BRAC.