D.O.D. Recommends Another BRAC

    The Department of Defense has submitted its budget request to Congress ...
    And the proposal includes asking Congress to approve another round of Base Realignment and Closures -- or BRAC.
    Katie Crosbie joins us now -- and Katie, we know the last BRAC in 2005 had a huge impact on Sheppard.
    It sure did, Darrell ...
    The last BRAC cuts moved the medical group to San Antonio -- meaning Sheppard lost about 400 instructors and seven thousand students annually.
    That's why many members of the Sheppard Military Affairs Committee -- or SMAC -- say they're concerned about this possibility.
      But 13th District U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry doesn't think Congress will go for another BRAC.
Despite Sheppard's strength ... just the word BRAC is enough to make people in Texoma nervous.
David Farabee
Sheppard Military Affairs Committee
     "It's something we always have to be aware of. And it has a profound effect on all of North Texas & southern Oklahoma, as well."
Glenn Barham
Wichita Falls Mayor
      "I think Sheppard's in a very good position. The Sheppard Military Affairs Committee works diligently to help protect Sheppard by helping Sheppard find new missions.  Are we concerned? Is the committee concerned? Certainly."
     Thirteenth District U.S. Representative Mac Thornberry says he thinks it's very *unlikely* that Congress will approve another round of BRAC.
     "For one thing, it would cause enormous turmoil at a time when there's already a lot of uncertainty & turmoil. But secondly, when you look back at the last round of BRAC, it still has not even paid for itself yet!"
    In fact, Representative Thornberry says it will take 13 years from the last BRAC just to *break even* ...
    "It has not proven to save money in the past, & I don't think there's any appetite to do it again."
     But what if Congress *does* end up approving another round of BRAC?
    "I think Sheppard is incredibly strong. More than half of all the training that goes on in the Air Force goes on at Sheppard plus of course we have the NATO program ... We don't want to ever take anything for granted -- obviously, we were surprised last time. But ... But it'd be very hard to take anything away."
    Rep. Thornberry, and members of the SMAC, point out that Sheppard *could* actually *gain* from a realignment.
    The last round of BRAC brought new buildings & improvements to fort sill -- along with about 17-hundred additional personnel.

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