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Military Base Enhancement

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Cassidy & Associates is the nation’s foremost government relations firm specializing in military base enhancement services for states and communities. Our base enhancement practice involves fulltime representation of clients who appreciate the immense economic impact of federal military activities and the value of defense-related economic development.

Our base enhancement practice arises out of our unparalleled record of success in the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process. Led by Barry Rhoads, former Deputy General Counsel for the 1991 BRAC Commission, our professionals have been pioneers in finding innovative ways to assist supporters of local military installations. These collaborative efforts have helped military bases survive past base closure rounds and positioned those installations for long-term mission success.

The Post-BRAC Environment

The 2005 BRAC round was the largest in history with far-reaching changes affecting almost every function of the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Services. Although the BRAC Commission’s Final Report became law in November, the 2005 BRAC process continued through the required implementation deadline of September 14, 2011. Many crucial decisions were made during the implementation period that will affect the size of investment in military installations, the scope of their current and future missions, and the likelihood that an installation will survive the future BRAC rounds called for in the 2005 BRAC Commission’s Final Report.

Every BRAC round is followed by a period of aftershocks as the roles and missions of military installations are reevaluated. The next few years will be a highly volatile period in the military infrastructure world. The BRAC implementation decisions are intertwined with a host of other defense developments. In addition to the ongoing military transformation process, the next few years will involve:

  • A reduction in overall ground force structure;
  • Secretary Panetta’s defense transformation initiatives;
  • The return of 70,000 troops from overseas based on the Integrated Global Presence and Basing Strategy study;

Some of our BRAC successes include removal of the following facilities from BRAC closure lists:

  • BRAC 1993: McGuire Air Force Base, Letterkenny Army Depot, and Meridian Naval Air Station.
  • BRAC 1995: Lakehurst Naval Air Engineering Station, Pittsburgh Air Reserve Station, and Meridian Naval Air Station.
  • BRAC 2005: Ellsworth AFB, Red River Army Depot, and the only two medical facilities saved from downsizing (Keesler Medical Center and Fort Knox Hospital)
  • We also have helped keep other bases off BRAC lists, including some added for closure consideration, attracted new missions to bases such as Fort Knox, and facilitated private sector reuse at other closed installations.
  • Spin-off studies arising out of the most recent Quadrennial Defense Review;
  • Acquisition decisions involving procurement of modern new weapons and support systems; and,
  • An ongoing comprehensive review of the way that the Guard and Reserves are organized, trained, and equipped.

All of these developments could affect national defense requirements and the future roles and missions of your military installations.

The 2005 BRAC round demonstrated that our defense infrastructure is going through a dynamic process of transformation. Failure to engage this process in a proactive manner could leave your local military installations vulnerable to future downsizing, which can take place through existing legal authority without need of a formal BRAC process.

Scope of Continuing Base Enhancement Services

Cassidy & Associates is ideally positioned to assist military base supporters who seek to maximize the positive impact of BRAC recommendations, pursue new base enhancement opportunities, and protect current missions and roles from competing communities. We have the benefit of the analysis and experience gained from working on military mission and infrastructure issues since the 1991 BRAC process. Our firm professionals also have a continuing involvement with defense leaders due to our work on military base enhancement and other defense issues.

Cassidy is committed to achieving mission success for our clients and is capable of providing comprehensive base enhancement services. Some of these services would include, but not be limited, to:

    • Promoting installations for new mission opportunities. DoD and the Services often reconsider the location of missions and personnel in light of BRAC decisions and evolving requirements. We can assist interested communities in educating defense leaders about the capabilities and assets of local installations as these decisions are made. These efforts include assistance in preparing briefings, white papers, and other messages materials as needed for federal policymakers and decision-makers.
    • Supporting efforts to obtain additional military construction projects. Competition for military construction (milcon) projects will be increasing difficult during the next few years because most milcon money is designated for BRAC implementation. We work both to promote within DoD the value of defense investment in your military installations and to support Congressional addition of mission-oriented projects that enhance to the military value of the installations.
    • Pursuing other opportunities for investments in defense facilities. Due to the shortage of milcon funding, increasing attention is being paid to other opportunities for enhancing military facilities. These efforts can include public-private partnerships for installation facilities (such as housing and utilities infrastructure) and use of enhanced use leasing authority to attract private development of new facilities. We work to explore and promote such investment opportunities, as well as other federal, state, and local sources of enhancement funding.
    • Monitoring federal legislation and defense initiatives. We monitor defense legislation on a broader basis that has potential relevance to defense communities. This effort includes the annual defense authorization and appropriations legislation that often promotes new policy directives and requires new studies of defense needs. We also monitor internal DoD and Service planning activities and initiatives that could impact your military installations. We report on these events, analyze their implications, and help communities develop proactive strategies.
    • Reporting on comparative military base community activities. We engage in a regular nationwide media sweep to gain information about activities of other base communities. We provide in regular reporting and analysis on developments that can affect your military installations.
    • Preparing for future defense consolidations. The ongoing defense transformation will undoubtedly lead to future realignment and consolidation activities using existing DoD legal authority. In addition, the outgoing BRAC Commission called for future BRAC rounds. We help our clients engage in medium and long-term planning for such consolidations through a comprehensive program of base enhancement activities. The BRAC process helps emphasize the important role of federal defense facilities in state and local economies, as well as energizing military base supporters. Supportive military base communities need to maximize their economic opportunities by staying engaged in the process and pursuing a proactive approach to base enhancement during this volatile period for defense infrastructure.

Conclusion

Your military infrastructure makes a vital contribution to your economy. It deserves the same continuing attention and proactive support as any other major economic driver to your region

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