Military Base Conversions

Williams Gateway Airport east of Phoenix is certainly on the list of most successful base conversions to date; Ellington Field, some 20 miles from downtown Houston, is more in a holding pattern.


HOUSTON & MESA, AZ — Williams Gateway Airport east of Phoenix is certainly on the list of most successful base conversions to date; Ellington Field, some 20 miles from downtown Houston, is more in a holding pattern. Neither is the overwhelming challenge some communities have faced when handed over a base that at one time was a source of assured economic impact. In September, the 2005 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) submitted its latest recommendations to President Bush. Here’s a summary of the BRAC report, and updates on the Williams and Ellington experiences.

The Administration has subsequently approved the report and sent it to Congress. The report becomes law unless Congress enacts a joint resolution of disapproval within 45 days of receiving it from the White House.

The 2005 BRAC report:

  • in considering 190 Department of Defense recommendations, approved 119 and amended 45;

  • forwarded 182 closures, 21 of which are designated “major;”

  • estimates total savings from its recommendations at $35.6 billion, which varies from DOD’s proposed plan that it says would save $47.8 billion;

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