A good portion, at least an estimate 19 percent, of U.S. military properties around the world may not be necessary or unneeded, after all. That is according to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis as he shared to Congress, and urged the lawmakers to permit him to take a closer look, and determine which of such military assets are not necessary to keep.
Mattis provided a report to Congress earlier this month related to his claim as Pentagon is pushing lawmakers to allow a new review of properties under the Base Realignment and closure program, or BRAC, which could eventually result to shuttering of excess facilities in the 2020s.
Mattis’ stance is that resources for the upkeep of such unnecessary properties can instead be used for more important needs of the military. He said in an October 6 letter to Congress: “’I must be able to eliminate excess infrastructure in order to shift resources to readiness and modernization.”
The Pentagon has been asking Congress for years to give it authorization for BRAC. The possible savings from such an assessment and eventually letting go of unneeded facilities could give the U.S. government could run into billions of dollars. The huge savings could, in turn, be used to shore up depleted military forces.
Many lawmakers in Congress, especially in the Hourse are against the idea of closing military bases that serve as job centers and economic drivers in the states.
Such efforts by Mattis and the Pentagon is in keeping with the Trump administration’s desire to be more cost-efficient and practical with government assets and properties and its priorities for spending including for military modernization. The General Services Administration for one has auctioned a lighthouse located in York, ME for $78,000.
Boon Island Light Station is located on a small islet off the southern coast of Maine, six miles southeast from Cape Neddick in York County.The historic property serves as a navigational aid maintained by the United States Coast Guard.