RH3 Media Hearing Book - June 20, 2005 St Louis, MO Page: 56 of 81
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"Their kids go to school here. When they're gone, people are going to feel it in places we don't
think a lot about right now."
BRAC 2005: Special Office Aids Affected Communities
Linton Daily Citizen
May 13, 2005
WASHINGTON -- When a Department of Defense installation closes, the department doesn't just
pull chocks and fly off.
DoD's Office of Economic Adjustment works with communities to help them through the base
closing process and help them transform.
The motto of the office is "Helping Communities Help Themselves," and the men and women of
the office take that very seriously, said office director Patrick O'Brien. O'Brien has worked his
way up the ranks in the office since the first base realignment and closure process began in 1989.
"We're a field activity under the secretary of defense," he said during an interview. "Our mission
is to work with communities affected by defense program changes."
The public thinks of base closures, but the office also helps communities gaining military assets,
bases affected by elimination of weapons systems and bases being encroached on by civilian
The organization has been around since the early 1960s.
"When a base closes, often it is a significant economic engine in the community," O'Brien said.
"We work with the communities to develop their capacities and capabilities."
The office is the conduit for defense money and expertise to the affected communities, but it also
serves as the bridge for other federal agencies, he said.
A number of federal agencies play in the closure and realignment process. These include Cabinet
members like the Department of Labor, which helps communities with retraining efforts, and the
Department of Commerce, which helps communities attract long-term economic development
But there are other helpers too. The Department of the Interior is often involved in transferring
land. The Federal Aviation Administration is involved in helping communities as they seek to
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United States. Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission. RH3 Media Hearing Book - June 20, 2005 St Louis, MO, legal document, November 4, 2005; (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc24404/m1/56/: accessed May 26, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.