Military stories from past to present, both wars.

BRAC, Fraud, Waste and Abuse

January 23rd, 2010 Posted in The SandGram v1.0


The Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) is just another form of “Fraud, Waste and Abuse” in my mind.  For those of you new to this, every politician out there with a military base located in their state wants government funds and support people to go with the funds.  The base personnel spend lots of money in the local economy so it only makes sense to keep your people happy which means you get re-elected every couple of years.


Here is the latest example of F/W&A.  I called up to MOBCOM, that is a place where all Marine reservists check for things dealing with pay, points etc.  They are located on a former Air Force base called Richards-Gebaur which was nicknamed “Dickey Goober”  and BRAC’d in the early Nineties. When I moved from Okinawa in May of 1995 to Kansas City, the Ninth Marine Corps Recruiting District HQ was on the west side of Kansas City and we moved from our location to the old Air Force HQ on Dickey Goober.  The 14th Marines moved upstairs from us, and we had this wonderful new space to work in.  Mind you, the Air Force does a nice job on their buildings, and for a Marine it was first class.  The Marines built a brand-new four or five story office building to house MOBCOM down the street while the rest of the base was turned into some sort of college.  Our Marines were able to live in the base housing there and it was a nice deal. 


I digress as usual, but when I called up there for a set of orders, I was told that due to being BRAC’d, that part of MOBCOM was moving to New Orleans and the other half to Indiana.  I was shocked because that building was no more then fifteen years old.  What in the world is the Marine Corps thinking?  Now they have to spend money in New Orleans, a total crap hole where the Marine Forces Reserves (MarForRes) is located to build new office space.  Probably the same thing going on in Indiana.  I asked what was going to happen to the spaces there and was told the Army was moving in.


It was then that the “Fraud, Waste and Abuse” light went off in my head!  BRAC is nothing more then a government shell game used to create jobs in one place while showing a decrease of troops in another.  Think about it, now they can show that the Marine Corps is saving money by moving the Marines out of Kansas City and consolidating them in New Orleans, a city so plagued by crime that the police won’t report the statistics. And—lets’ not think about the wasted man $$$ days when the threat of a hurricane approaches and they have to evacuate all personnel from that fine city to neighboring states. 


In the late nineties, Brunswick NAS was closed as part of a BRAC recommendation that just took away the states second largest employer.  As I remember, this was done because some congressman there didn’t want to play on President Bush’s party line sheet of music.  Same thing the current President possibly threw out to Representative Nelson from Nebraska when talking about BRAC’ing Offutt Air Force Base if he didn’t tow the line on his health care bill. 


Once again, nothing is new in the world of “Fraud, Waste and Abuse.” See, the Military is a pawn that can be moved around when needed.  The politicians can justify this by claiming that consolidating forces will save money.  On the other sheet of the books, they can claim “look at all the jobs I created over here in this state” during the next campaign to get re-elected, while ignoring the hundreds of millions of dollars spent to build new buildings, move the personnel to staff it (consider moving 4,000 folks at an average cost of 15K each equals about 6 million just for the household move) just in the name of saving the taxpayers money. 


So we spend hundreds of millions to save a few million!  BRAC should be shown for what it really is–a political leverage arm of the government that is, in fact, costing us more than we care to really know.  I just wanted you to know that your taxpayer dollars are hard at work.  If your life was tossed upside down due to a move, loss on a house from the forced move, city turned into a ghost town from the loss of personnel there, feel free to leave a comment below, I’d be interested in what you have to say.




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