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BRAC: Information available for affected bases

WASHINGTON --

The Secretary of Defense is expected to announce the proposed Base Realignment and Closure list during a press conference May 13.

Air Force officials understand the effect BRAC can have on servicemembers, retirees, employees and their families.

To assist people with vital BRAC information, the Air Force will provide a toll-free number, (888) 473-6120, for military and civilian members affected by the BRAC list. Besides the toll-free phone number, the Air Force has an informative BRAC Web page to www.af.mil/brac.

“This number will be available starting May 13 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (EDT) until further notice,” said Col. Thomas Fleming, Air Force BRAC response cell director. “We will have trained people from 10 different Air Force organizations to answer or assist with any questions people may have.”

Airmen can seek information through their chain of command. They may also contact the public affairs office at their nearest Air Force installation.

BRAC is the congressionally authorized process the Department of Defense uses to reorganize its base structure to more efficiently and effectively support its forces, increase operational readiness and facilitate new ways of doing business.

“People are our most valuable asset; and though BRAC is a careful and impartial analysis, people will be affected,” Colonel Fleming said. “We care about our people, and we want to keep our people informed and provide them the best possible information on the changes that will affect them.”

The Air Force Web page will have a breakdown of affected bases from the BRAC list, said Jeff Whitted, Air Force Print News operations division chief.

“We will also have links to frequently asked questions, news articles, and DOD and Air Force information concerning BRAC,” he said. “As we receive new information, we will post it to this page.”

Local communities surrounding these installations will also be affected. Communities can address their concerns with the President’s Commission at regional BRAC commission meetings or by contacting the commission at (703) 699-2950 for more information. Phone hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. EDT, Mondays through Fridays.

The BRAC process will take months to be finalized. The secretary of defense’s BRAC recommendations are not final. The President’s BRAC Commission will review the list for conformity with the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s force structure plan and published selection criteria and report its findings and conclusions to the president by Sept. 8.