Posted on Oct 27, 2014
SPC David Stephenson
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I know in the past BRAC has played a big part in the creation of the dozen or so Joint Bases that we now have. With that being done has the DoD studied the financial benefits in doing so. Just curious as to why this is not the norm. Air Borne always needs a lift just like the Marines are always catching a ride from the Navy. It seems to me that this has worked for the Marines. To me it seems like a no brainer to have Army and Air Force installations in close proximity to one one anther if not the same. Instead of having 2 of everything you now have one and additionally it would reduce the cost of joint training. Less places do mean fewer targets to attack but the also means fewer places to defend with more gathered resources. What does everyone think?
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Lt Col Aerospace Planner
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I suppose it makes sense if there are two military bases from separate complementary branches that will close and if it makes sense to consolidate. Combining Ft. Lewis and McChord were a no brainer. You have one of the Air Forces Largest Air mobility wings on the west coast with the exception of Travis. Certain east coast bases that have a large Af and Navy contingent have combined. In theory, but not always in practice your mobility footprint shoiuld be reletively small at Lewis McChord because the C-17's are right there to load up all the Army chocks and take them where they need to go.

Some bases have very specific missions that are not complementary like Barksdale or Minot that have have a simple Nuclear Global Strike mission and it is too far inland to really make a difference to combine with another service.

Bases that would make sense to combine would be Nellis and NAS Fallon. Both are in Nevada and both support their services fighter weapons school. It might make sense as Nellis is shutting down an aggressor squadron to move the Navy aggressors to Nellis and shut down Fallon.

I am surprised Kirtland is not considered a joint base, maybe not by DOD standards. Kirtland hosts one of the largest DOE research labs the Sandia National Labs, as well as a DOE nuclear warfare center.

To combine a base that may not have the real estate may cost more in the long run. I am guessing the whole joint base thing allows services to share the operating costs which might make it more beneficial in the long run. But who knows, it could end up just costing more in the long run.

On a strategic security note I have always believed it makes sense not to have all our eggs in one basket. If Lewis-McChord were hypothetically taken out then that would be a huge chunk of our ground combat and Air Mobility force gone.
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SPC David Stephenson
SPC David Stephenson
7 y
Roger that Lt Col (Join to see) on all the eggs in one basket if something were to get through it would be bad but at the same time forces are consolidated and can deploy much faster if on the ramp and ready to go. In your scattered forces approach if TAC gets hit Armour can't get there and if Armour gets hit TAC has nothing to lift. I'm sure some sort of financial study is underway or a least I hope there is.
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Lt Col Aerospace Planner
Lt Col (Join to see)
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Maybe so, although I wonder if the cost savings is more of a dog and pony show to be honest. It seems like the politicians biggest concern is keeping base X open in rural bumpkin land, because our closure would reek havoc on the economies of slum lords who want rent apartments at higher than market value, or gouge the military by selling crap cars. We kept bases like Cannon open because of the economic impact it would have on Clovis, New Mexico. They moved a large portion of Special Operations mission from Florida to keep Cannon open. The Irony is that Kirtland is 3 hours away and has the Special Operation School house for all SOC flying, and the Pararescue school. To me it would have made more sense to put those operational assets at Kirtland since they have more than enough ramp space. I live in Albuquerque, its not the greatest city in the US we have crime and a ghetto. But at least there is stuff to do. If you are country bumpkin you can live in the east mountain and be a Grizzly Adams if one wishes. We have mountains and lakes for hunting and fishing for the gung ho outdoor types. Or you can live in an urban environment and have good restaurants and bars to hang out at.

We BRAC'd Grand Forks AFB where I used to fly tankers. For the last 5 years we have been operating a base with no mission. They have been trying to figure out what the mission is supposed to be there. At one point it was going to get MC-12's now I believe it is going to get the Global Hawk mission. Until that time, its purpose was to support a small foot print of Boarder Patrol Reaper UAV's some UND flying ops. The only AF thing it did was provide mutual support for a small radar site in Caviler North Dakota. In my mind they had to justify its existence still so we probably were wasting money with a skeleton crew keeping the lights on.
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SSG Douglas Espinosa
SSG Douglas Espinosa
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Lt Col (Join to see) - I live in Albuquerque now and work for US Fish and Wildlife downtown. I had to go to Sandia a few times for my ID over the years, and I think Kirtland should be a Joint Base. That's one thing I always loved about being at Fort Bragg, NC with the 82nd, that we had Pope AFB (Pope AAF now) right there, so every time we jumped or deployed it wouldn't take but a few minutes to get to Green Ramp and do the hurry up and wait.
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Lt Col Aerospace Planner
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SSG Douglas Espinosa I used to live next door to where you work. Until 2018, I lived in the white flats next to the 500 Gold Ave federal building on 6th ST.
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SFC Vet Technician
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How many more joint bases would you recommend. We already have one in every regional command (I may be wrong on this and am too lazy to fact check). My point is that I am not sure that we can consolidate much more unless we try to incorporate the seafaring side of the house into things.

I am surprised that there is not Carson-Peterson in Colorado Yet.
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SPC David Stephenson
SPC David Stephenson
7 y
SFC (Join to see) certainly there are a couple of locations like Keesler and Eglin where that might be possible just the top off my head. To me it seems like a logical solution being that the Army is rather dependent on TAC to get deployed. To me its like if you were going to make a PB & J and had to go to 2 different places to make the damn sandwich. I know I know logic and the military are not simpatico but I just think it would save a ton of money that could be turned back into pay, benefits, or retention of troops.
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MSG Thomas Currie
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The so-called "Joint" bases are often a complete fiction that costs rather than saves. In several cases where a "Joint" base has been created by BRAC, it is just a situation were two services had separate bases in or near the same town (often miles apart) and some bean counter decided there would be a saving by renaming both bases with a hyphenated name like Victorian-era elite families or married feminists in the US.

The fake notion of savings is tied to pretending that by making them one "joint" base they will only need one set of base operations/support staff such as the 'engineers' who maintain buildings and roads etc. Of course this doesn't consider that the new "joint" base will still consist of two physically separate installations and will have all the same buildings, roads, etc. as the combined total did all along and will still need all the same support people to maintain them. Joining the installation staffs might save one slot or bump one 'director' level position down to 'deputy director' -- but there is also an even chance that the larger combined organization will result in upgrading the boss due to the greater responsibilities.

For the army, this fiction ties to the earlier decision that the Army should follow the model of other services where each base needed a command structure for the base operations that would be separate from the "tenant" unit(s).
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