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Military Bases in Texas: Strengthening our National Security

military bases in texas

Texas hosts some of the most significant military installations in the United States. These bases play crucial roles not only in national defense but also in the economy of Texas, providing thousands of jobs and contributing billions of dollars to the state’s economy. However, the possibility of base closures or realignments always looms, driven by federal budget constraints and shifting strategic needs. This blog post reviews the federal criteria for base closures and realignments, evaluates the strength of Texas military bases under the current scoring system utilized by the U.S. Department of Defense, and makes recommendations to mitigate the risk of closures or realignments.

military bases in texas

Military Bases in Texas

If you’re wondering “how many military bases are in Texas,” you’re not alone. We have made a list of military bases in Texas below to help you familiarize yourself with several of the bases in Texas and their purposes.

Joint Bases

Air Force

Army

Naval Air Stations

Texas stands as a cornerstone of military innovation and leadership in the United States, hosting critical command centers and futuristic initiatives. The state is home to the US Army Futures Command in Austin, which spearheads modernization efforts to keep the Army at the technological forefront. Additionally, both US Army North and US Army South have their headquarters at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, overseeing defense operations across North and South America. The US Army Medical Command, also based at Fort Sam Houston, plays a pivotal role in advancing military medical practices. These installations underline Texas’s significant contribution to enhancing the strategic capabilities and operational readiness of the military.

Understanding BRAC: The Federal Base Closure Process

The Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process is a mechanism used by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to reorganize its base structure to more efficiently and effectively support its forces, increase operational readiness, and facilitate new ways of warfare. The BRAC process considers several criteria, including the current and future mission capabilities of the bases, the impact on operational readiness, cost of operations, and environmental and economic impacts on surrounding communities.

Key Criteria for Base Assessment:

Texas’ BRAC History

Texas has navigated several rounds of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) processes, particularly in 1991, 1993, 1995, and 2005, which significantly reshaped its military landscape. These BRAC rounds led to the closure of military bases in Texas like Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth and Reese Air Force Base near Lubbock, presenting economic challenges and job losses for the affected communities. However, these closures also created opportunities for redevelopment and economic rejuvenation as the vacated lands were repurposed for commercial and public use. On the other hand, expansions, notably at Fort Bliss in El Paso, spurred economic growth due to increases in military personnel and infrastructure investments.

In response, Texas has evolved its strategy to enhance the value of its military installations through strategic investments and robust community partnerships, aiming to protect these bases from future closures by underscoring their importance to national security and their beneficial impacts on local and state economies.

Evaluating Texas Military Bases

Texas is home to fifteen major military installations, including Fort Hood, Joint Base San Antonio, and Naval Air Station Corpus Christi. These bases collectively enhance the military readiness of the United States and provide substantial economic benefits to their local communities.

Strengths of Military Bases in Texas:

  1. Strategic Importance: Texas bases often have unique geographic and strategic advantages that contribute to their high military value. For example, Fort Hood is one of the largest U.S. military installations in the world and is crucial for tank and infantry training.
  2. Economic Impact: Texas military bases contribute significantly to local and state economies through direct employment, contracts, and other expenditures.
  3. Community Support: Texas communities are generally very supportive of military bases, which helps in community integration and impact mitigation.
  4. Operational Readiness: Many Texas bases are at the forefront of technological and tactical innovations, which increases their indispensability.

Recommendations to Mitigate Realignment or Closure Risks

Given the strategic, economic, and operational importance of Texas military bases, it is vital to adopt proactive strategies to mitigate the risks of closures or realignments. Here are some recommended strategies:

1. Enhancing Military Value

2. Strengthening Community and Economic Ties

3. Environmental and Cost Efficiency

Conclusion

Military bases in Texas are vital assets for national security and state economy. By understanding the BRAC criteria and evaluating the strengths of Texas military installations, stakeholders can better advocate for their continued operation and strategic use. Implementing the recommendations outlined can help safeguard these bases against potential closures or realignments, ensuring they continue to contribute to our national defense and local economies for years to come.

In summary, protecting and enhancing military bases in Texas requires a multifaceted approach involving strategic investments, community engagement, and operational efficiencies. With thoughtful planning and proactive advocacy, Texas can ensure its bases remain integral components of America’s defense infrastructure.

Are you and your community concerned with the upcoming round of base realignment and closure?  GovExperts can assist you working with the state government.  Call us at 512-480-0049 to talk today!

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