Federal Manager's Daily Report

Instructions that the Pentagon has sent out to base commanders

indicate that the 2005 Defense Department base closings

exercise will be an all-players game, since all installations

have been ordered to participate in the call for information.

The all-hands approach was not a surprise, since DoD last

year resisted congressional efforts to wall off certain

installations from review in the base closing process. The

result is that even facilities that are widely considered

core elements of the DoD structure and thus indispensable

will have to comply with what in the past has proven to be

a burdensome and nerve-wracking process. DoD said it is

necessary for all facilities to participate in order to

“treat all military installations equally and to make its

closure and realignment recommendations based solely upon

certified data.”

The data call is the first of what could be many orders that

will require installations to essentially justify their

existence under pressure from top Pentagon leaders to use

the new base closing authority aggressively to cut back on

the department’s facilities. As in past base closing rounds,

much of the burden of making the case for keeping an

installation open likely will fall on senior and mid-level

management.

DoD’s proposals will be made to a special commission that

is to be named by March 2005. That commission’s

recommendations will have to be accepted or rejected in

their entirety by Congress and the White House, with the

process set up to pave the way for acceptance.