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How Optimization Supports Army Base Closure and Realignment

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The Army frequently plans adjustments to the stationing of its force structure as weapon systems, missions, and operations change over time, much as a large corporation plans changes to its plant infrastructure as product demand and technology change over time. Optimization models have long played a key role in developing these corporate plans for example, see Brown et al 2001 and their references. On any given day, the Army has up to 100 units moving to meet new stationing requirements and our decision-support model, Optimal Stationing of Army Forces OSAF, has recently helped guide some of these decisions in the United States. For example, OSAF suggested potential locations for rotary-wing training, and also helped determine a new home for the United States Army Southern Command. The Army is legislatively more encumbered in its infrastructure decisions than corporate counterparts. A complex, politically insulated process for closing and realigning military installations in the United States is provided by Title XXIX of Public Law 101-510 the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1991 as amended. This act established an independent Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission and set in motion a process known as BRAC for 1991, 1993, and 1995, to be applied to installations in the United States. The law authorizing these three rounds has been remarkably successful in allowing the Department of Defense DOD to eliminate excess infrastructure Government Accounting Office 2001. Since 1995, the DOD has urged Congress to authorize additional BRAC rounds and in 2002 received authorization for a round in 2005.

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  • Administration and Management
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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