This report focuses on those government activities funded under the Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 military construction appropriation, examines trends in military construction funding, and outlines military construction issues extant in each of the major regions of U.S. military activity.
President Barack Obama submitted his FY2012 appropriations request to Congress on February 14, 2011. His military construction appropriations request for $14.7 billion in new budget authority fell approximately $9.9 billion below the amount enacted for FY2010 and $3.0 billion below that enacted for FY2011. Much of that reduction came from military base closure accounts. Initiated in late 2005, the current base realignment and closure (BRAC) round is expected to conclude in September 2011. Funding needed in FY2010 and FY2011 for construction and movement of organizations will not be needed in FY2012 and subsequent years. In addition, the President requested less regular military construction for FY2012 than in earlier years. Finally, funding for construction supporting Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO, or active military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan), appropriations for which totaled $1.4 billion in FY2010 and $1.3 billion in FY2011, has been virtually eliminated, with only $217 million in the regular FY2012 appropriation requested for construction within U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM). The first military construction bill (H.R. 2055) was passed by the House on June 14, 2011.
Construction issues within the United States center on relocations associated with BRAC movements, the proposed transfer of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier from Norfolk, VA, to Mayport, FL, the potential to move detainees from Naval Station Guantanamo, and the possible expansion of the Army’s Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site.
In the Pacific region, topics of major interest include planned relocations of U.S. Marine forces within the Japanese Prefecture of Okinawa and from Okinawa to the U.S. Territory of Guam, movement of U.S. garrisons in the Republic of Korea, and normalization of duty there, which will lengthen tours and bring many more military families to Korea.
Troops are also moving within Europe and redeploying to the United States. Active duty military personnel stationed in Europe now number only one-quarter of the force present in 1980, and garrisons in Germany are being concentrated into two large military communities near Landstuhl and Vilseck. At least one major combat formation scheduled to move to the United States during the past few years has been retained at its garrison in Germany pending a military basing review.
Military responsibility for much of Africa is now exercised by U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). Though headquartered in Germany, AFRICOM has one enduring military garrison site on the continent, at Camp Lemonier, Djibouti. Press accounts have indicated that a new permanent home for AFRICOM headquarters might be located in southeastern Virginia.
Southwest Asia, the area of responsibility for CENTCOM, has seen ongoing military operations for almost a decade. Since FY2004, Congress has given DOD special authority to use some operations and maintenance funds for military construction outside of the normal appropriations process. Both House and Senate versions of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2012 would extend that authority into FY2012. Funds for military construction had been provided through special emergency supplemental appropriations, but beginning in FY2010, these funds were folded into the base budget—though still categorized separately from normal construction requests. CENTCOM construction has fallen with the FY2012 request.
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