Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC)
The Commonwealth of Virginia has a robust and important partnership with the Department of Defense (DoD). The DoD spends more than $50 billion in Virginia each year, employs nearly a quarter of a million people -- roughly six percent of the state's workforce, and is home to more than 200,000 DoD employees comprised of uniformed and civilian personnel. (From Virginia’s Military Installations: Summary Facts and Figures; Virginia National Defense Industrial Authority; page 1; 2010)
The 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Act (BRAC) process recommended more than 130 separate actions in Virginia, approximately one-sixth of all recommendations made nationwide, affecting 21 different military installations. These actions result in a growth in Virginia of more than 5,000 positions; significant temporary growth due to increased training at Fort Lee; the vacating of approximately 18,000 positions from commercially leased space throughout Northern Virginia; more than $5 billion in military construction; several Defense Access Road (DAR) projects; other road projects to support the Mark Center (BRAC 133) site, the Fairfax County Parkway supporting Fort Belvoir North, Fort Lee and Hampton Roads; and the closing of Fort Monroe. All of these actions are necessitated by BRAC moves.
Fort Monroe (also known as Fortress Monroe), located at Old Point Comfort -- is one of several military installations, and the only installation in Virginia, selected by the 2005 BRAC to be closed by September 2011. Beginning about 1609, fortifications were established at Old Point Comfort. The much more substantial facility of stone that became known as Fort Monroe was completed in 1834. For the period 1861-1865, although most of Virginia became part of the Confederate States of America, Fort Monroe remained in Union hands, and became notable as a historic and symbolic site of early freedom for former slaves under the provisions of contraband policies -- spoils of war, and later the Emancipation Proclamation.
The Army conducted the deactivation ceremony at Fort Monroe on September 15, 2011, and is preparing to turn the property over to the Commonwealth in early 2012. The Fort Monroe Authority continues to work with the Army, the City of Hampton, the National Park Service and concerned citizens to make this national treasurer a vibrant community. Terrie Suit, Secretary of Veterans Affairs & Homeland Security is Chair of the Fort Monroe Authority. The Authority has relied on the expertise of national consultants in the areas of BRAC law, environmental engineering, historic architecture and preservation planning, structural engineering, housing market analysis, commercial/retail analysis, public relations/marketing, and tourism planning. The Commonwealth is taking a lead role in planning because most of the land that Fort Monroe occupies will revert to the Commonwealth now that the Army mission is complete. The effort is guided by three priorities; keep Fort Monroe open to the public, respect the rich history and advance economic sustainability. Given the historic significance of the post, the decommissioned fort will be an excellent candidate for heritage tourism along with many other historical sites located throughout the greater Hampton Roads area.
In 2009, the DoD Office of Economic Adjustment supported Virginia with the establishment of two dedicated BRAC coordinators. One position within the Office of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs & Homeland Security is focused on general issues relating to DoD impacts on communities. The other position within the Virginia Department of Transportation to focus on transportation issues throughout the Commonwealth resulting from BRAC actions.
Virginia continues to address significant encroachment management in Virginia Beach with Naval Air Station Oceana, the training at Fort AP Hill which supports Fort Lee for Explosive Ordinance and Warrior Skills training, and other BRAC related activities as the date for implementing the 2005 BRAC actions approaches. The BRAC Office within the Office of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs & Homeland Security is available to work with the military installations and localities to bring together the right parties to address issues.
Presentations given July 17, 2012 at NOVA General Assembly Briefing
- BRAC and DoD Activities Update -- presented to Appropriations Committee, September 2011 (PDF, 352KB)
- COV BRAC Locations with Personnel Projections (PDF, 148 KB)
- Base Realignment and Closure
BRAC 2005 -- March 18, 2010 Briefing (PDF, 964 KB)
- Base Realignment and Closure BRAC 2005 -- June 18, 2010 Briefing to Arlington (PDF, 1.8 MB)
- Summary of BRAC 2005 Action in Virginia (PDF, 256 KB)
- Ft. Lee Population Growth by Qtr/FY (PDF, 232 KB)
- BRAC presentation made to Fredericksburg Military Affairs Council, Feb. 24, 2011 (PDF)
Links of Interest