Tuesday, August 10, 2010

ADC Wildfire

Rumors ran like wildfire through the Association of Defense Communities (ADC) at Monday's announcement and press release by Secretary of Defense Gates.

The call to eliminate 50 general officers was only noted in passing (see where the priorities aren't?).  And the closing of Joint Forces Command itself commanded only some interest. But the reported (here at the ADC Conference) call for identification of extraneous base assets raised a conflagration!  Speculation ran rampant if this is the beginning of a next dreaded BRAC, when the deadline looms next month for all tasks of the 2005 BRAC to be accomplished.

Whatever the process ahead, local PNWers should relax - somewhat.  The consolidation of Ft. Lewis and McChord AFB into one Joint Base (JB Lewis-McChord), headed toward finalization in September, should, given the strategic value of the joint base, make the local installation as impregnable as it is possible to be.

BUT, always in the realm of possibility have been programmatic changes.  The Commander in Chief and the Secretary of Defense have always had the authority to realign units without the concurrence of Congress and Governors (as with the Guard). 

It is no less likely today, than yesterday or tomorrow, that the nation's defense will require individual units to be reassigned.  The first Stryker brigade was realigned from Ft. Polk, LA to Ft. Lewis BEFORE BRAC 2005.  Other troop movements transferring troops and units here to growth installation JBLM did not occur because of BRAC.

So, which Army units remain at JBLM-Lewis Main, or whether any Air Force units remain at JBLM-McChord Field always has and always will be subject to their military mission and the dictates of their Commander in Chief, our President. 

It is and always has been up to the community to work to insure that our local military installations retain the highest and most current military mission possible (including locally controlled factors).

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