Services Clash Over Joint Bases


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5-Year Member
May 5, 2007

Defense officials are refereeing a control-and-culture clash between the Air Force and its sister services over a requirement to create 12 “joint bases” out of 25.

The 25 bases, it seems, already are run by their favorite service.

The mandate for joint bases is part of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure plan which became law in November of that year. The Air Force is to manage six joint base sites, the Navy four and the Army two....
Air Force officials argue, at every opportunity, that their bases alone are “fighting platforms” for their aircraft and thus must be maintained in top form as the Navy strives to maintain its ships and the Army and Marine Corps sustain its deployed ground forces.

The Army, Navy and Marine Corps, on the other hand, are known to defer base maintenance from time to time when dollars are needed for other priorities. The Air Force fears that might occur under joint basing arrangements, reducing the quality of life and harming readiness at bases where the Air Force has lost control.

The AF goes forth from their bases to do battle just as the Army does from their posts. Someone please explain to me the convoluted AF reasoning that their base upkeep is more important than the Army. And the quality of life of their airmen more important than that of one of our sailors.

I never want to have anyone ever again tell me that I don't know what I am talking about when I say that they build the O'Clubs and golf courses before they build the runways. It's official. They admit it here. The golf course is as important as is a hangar.

When, horror of horror, it happens, they will just continue to do what they did when I was active duty, just throw one of their many under employed more senior officers at the situation. Seems every joint meeting that I ever attended, the Air Farce rep was senior to everyone else there, including the chairman of the meeting, and wasted no opportunity to throw his seniority around, browbeating and stonewalling as necessary. Club Air Force may not know how to salute but they sure know how to utilize rank when it is to their benefit. The OinC of the Air Force det will probably be senior to the CO of the base. Wouldn't surprise me.
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The one realignment that doesn't make sense to me is Ft Story being assigned to NS, Norfolk. Ft Eustis, another Army base, is just as close to Ft Story as is the Norfolk Naval Base. Seems maybe, again, politics and interservice "fairness" is more important than actual cost savings, which is the purpose of BRAC.