BASE REALIGNMENT Time line
Base realignment and closure time line:
U 1960s to 1987: The Pentagon closes about 60 bases as the United States reduces its post-World War II military posture. Congress is not consulted on a majority of the closings. It launches efforts to require that the Pentagon notify Capitol Hill of any future closings.
U 1987-88: Then-Rep. Dick Armey, R-Texas, pushes through legislation creating the first independent Base Realignment and Closure Commission. The formal structure aims to shield lawmakers from community backlash and tries to keep the process from becoming too politicized.
U 1988: The first Base Realignment and Closure Commission convenes: 16 major bases are closed.
U 1990: The end of the Cold War and pressure to cut defense spending lead then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney to push Congress for additional rounds. The result: The 1990 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act, which calls for closure rounds in 1991, 1993 and 1995.
U 1991: The 1991 commission closes 26 major bases and seven major research facilities; it realigns 19 bases.
U 1993: The 1993 commission closes 28 major bases and realigns 13 major facilities.
U 1995: The 1995 commission closes 27 major bases and realigns 17 facilities. Two controversial decisions regarding depots in California and Texas leave lawmakers suspect of the process, and although another round is recommended for 2001, it is not supported until 2005.
U 2002: President Bush threatens to veto the 2003 defense spending bill unless it contains a provision for a 2005 closure round. Congress includes the closure language.
U Dec. 31, 2003: The Pentagon publishes the eight "base closure selection criteria" it wants to use to judge the value of each base. After several months of public comment and congressional input, the criteria are made official.
U January 2004: The Pentagon begins "data calls" to each base, gathering information on the missions, personnel and equipment at each facility.
U March 2004: The Pentagon publishes its "Force Structure Plan and Inventory" that outlines what sort of end strength it wants in each branch, and what sort of threats it is preparing for in the next 20 years. It also takes an inventory of the more than 600 facilities and 600,000 buildings it maintains.
U May 2004: The House votes to delay the 2005 round, citing the war on terrorism. The same delay is narrowly defeated in the Senate. Bush threatens a second veto on 2005 funding if the defense bill does not contain base-closure authority. The final funding bill includes base closure.
U August 2004: The Pentagon announces that it intends to relocate 70,000 troops from European and South Korean posts and bring them back onto U.S. bases. The announcement re-ignites the debate on whether bases should be closed in 2005.
U March 15, 2005: Bush nominates members for the 2005 closure commission, who are awaiting confirmation by Congress.
U May 16, 2005: The "list" will be released. The secretary of defense must by this date publish in the federal register, and submit to Congress and the 2005 commissioners, his recommendations for base closure.
U May 16 to Sept. 8, 2005: The nine members of the commission will visit the facilities recommended for closure and hold a dozen regional meetings with communities affected by the Pentagon recommendations.
U July 1, 2005: The comptroller general finishes examining the Pentagon's recommendations and releases a report on the recommendations.
U Sept. 8, 2005: The 2005 Base Realignment and Closure commissioners must publish final recommendations by this date. If the president approves, the recommendations are official 45 legislative days after his approval, unless Congress enacts a joint resolution of disapproval. If the president does not approve the list, then:
U Oct. 20, 2005: Deadline for the commissioners to publish revised recommendations.
U Nov. 7, 2005: Deadline for president to approve or disapprove recommendations. If he disapproves, or Congress enacts a joint resolution of disapproval, the commissioners must re-revise their recommendations.
U April 15, 2006: The commission terminates.
Sources: The Government Accountability Office, The Defense Department, GlobalSecurity.org and news reports