Letter from 26 Senators to Commission Re: Request for Hearing on AF Proposal regarding Enclaves Page: 2 of 4
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06/15/2005 19:52 FAX
The Honorable Anthony J. Principi
June 15, 2005
Air Force officials did not conduct a formal analysis to assess how a reduction in
B-lB bombers from 93-60 would affect DOD's ability to meet wartime
requirements. Nor did they complete a comprehensive analysis of potential basing
options to know whether they were choosing the most cost-effective
alternative....As a result, the Air Force understated the potential savings for some
options...Our comparison of active and Guard units' missions, flying hour costs,
and capabilities showed that active and Guard units were responsible for
substantially the same missions but Guard units had lower flying hour costs and
higher mission capable rates than their active duty counterparts.
Given the on-going war effort, it is critical that we have a better understanding of the
possible retention impacts of creating enclaves.
Second, we are concerned that this is an effort to get around the BRAC process.
The Air Force has indicated that these bases will be kept in anticipation of follow-on
missions. At the same time, they plan to shrink the facilities. We have seen no evidence
that the Air Force has made any adjustments to its budgeting policies to make enclaves
work. Normal budgeting is done by allocating funds for an installation based on the
personnel and missions it supports. For a base without a mission and greatly reduced
personnel, the current system would provide minimal funds. It would then appear that
such bases would have shrunk so much that they could not accommodate the growth
required for a follow-on mission that might be available two, three, or more years down the VI
road, So, in reality, these enclaves are closures that will happen slowly and without
following the BRAC process.
Last, we are concerned that enclaves simply will not meet the homeland security
needs of governors. We have heard that originally the 23 enclave bases were going to be
closures. It is our understanding that the Air Force belatedly recognized that this would
dramatically reduce the ability of governors to meet their homeland security needs. Their
solution was to create enclave bases. Yet, we have not seen any evidence that enclaves
will actually serve the needs of governors. As we have not seen all of the Air Force data
yet, we can only raise this as a point to be investigated. While each state has a different
overall situation, we do not believe that enclave bases will provide the governors with what
they really need for homeland security.
We hope that the Commission will hold a hearing specifically on the enclave
concept. Nowhere in the BRAC legislation is enclave mentioned as an option. At this
point, we have heard a lot of generalizations, but seen little analysis to support this new
concept. If it is a good idea, that can only become clear through a thorough investigation
of the Air Force's plans and rationale in a public hearing.
Thank you for your service on this critical Commission. If we can answer any
questions regarding our concerns, please let us know or have your staff contact our staff.
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Letter from 26 Senators to Commission Re: Request for Hearing on AF Proposal regarding Enclaves, legal document, June 16, 2005; (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc15597/m1/2/: accessed April 23, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.