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Friday, January 28, 2011

Military Base Closures: Socioeconomic Impacts

Tadlock Cowan
Analyst in Natural Resources and Rural Development

Oscar R. Gonzales
Analyst in Economic Development Policy

The most recent Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission submitted its final report to the Administration on September 8, 2005. Implementation of the BRAC round is occurring and, barring future congressional action, the recommendations will be completed by September 15, 2011. In the report, the commission rejected 13 of the initial Department of Defense recommendations, significantly modified the recommendations for 13 other installations, and approved 22 major closures. The loss of related jobs, and efforts to replace them and to implement a viable base reuse plan, can pose significant challenges for affected communities. However, while base closures and realignments often create socioeconomic distress in communities initially, research has shown that they generally have not had the dire effects that many communities expected. For rural areas, however, the impacts can be greater and the economic recovery slower. Drawing from existing studies, this report assesses the potential community impacts and proposals for minimizing those impacts.

For additional information on the BRAC process, see CRS Report RL32216, Military Base Closures: Implementing the 2005 Round, by David E. Lockwood; and CRS Report RL33766, Military Base Closures and Realignment: Status of the 2005 Implementation Plan, by Kristine E. Blackwell.

Date of Report: January 11, 2011
Number of Pages: 9
Order Number: RS22147
Price: $19.95

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