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Air Force BRAC Success Stories

Closing an Air Force base is more than just relocating aircraft, lowering the flag and locking the gate. The Air Force is responsible for ensuring that environmental responsibilities are met and that the property is made available for reuse as efficiently and quickly as possible. This is the mission of the Air Force Real Property Agency. This fact sheet provides some of their progress to date.
  • Bergstrom AFB, Austin, TX (BRAC 91): The base closed in September 1993, and the city began to build the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport which is the biggest new airport project in the United States since Denver International. The Secretary of the Air Force conveyed a deed for 942 acres to the City of Austin on April 17, 1999. Environmental cleanup was integrated with airport construction to ensure the transition of the base to a $600 million dollar airport. Because of the cooperative efforts of the City, regulators and the Air Force, the City kept its tight construction schedule and met deadlines on time. The Airport opened in May 1999 and over 3,660 new jobs have now been created.
  • Carswell AFB, Fort Worth, TX (BRAC 91): The base closed in September 1993, and a major portion of the base, 1,770 acres, became the Naval Air Station, Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth. Approximately 103 acres, consisting of the former Air Force hospital, were transferred to the Department of Justice to be used as a Bureau of Prison's hospital. The remaining 374 acres were purchased by Westworth Redevelopment Authority (WRA) as an Economic Development Conveyance (EDC). The WRA is actively marketing the property for commercial development. The majority of Wherry and Kings Branch housing units have been sold and removed from the base. Over 800 new jobs have been created.
  • Castle AFB, Merced County, CA (BRAC 91): The base closed in September 1995, and the Castle Joint Powers Authority redesigned 94% of the former base into a public service center. The Federal Bureau of Prisons has constructed a correctional facility, the Department of Interior is operating an Air Museum and Learning Center, and the Department of Health and Human Services provided a community hospital. The Pacific Telesis Group established a major customer care center employing 850 workers. The remaining property (180 acres) is planned for a no-cost transfer through an existing Airport Public Benefit Conveyance (PBC). Over 2,300 new jobs have now been created.
  • Chanute AFB, Rantoul, IL (BRAC 88): The base closed in September 1993, and today, there are more than 60 industrial and commercial tenants on the property occupying over 1.3 million square feet of space. Major new businesses include Textron, a manufacturer of plastic automotive parts for Chrysler; a civilian airport that has met its tenth-year projections in its second year of operation, and a microfilm processing and document storage facility. More than 900 families now occupy former base housing. One housing initiative includes an innovative foster care program, a medical clinic, and housing for the elderly. These businesses have created over 1,700 new jobs.
  • Eaker AFB, Blytheville, AK (BRAC 91): The base closed in December 1992, and today the base is in 100% reuse. The Presbyterian Development Corporation has developed a retirement center, Westminster Village, using 928 housing units, hospital, officer's club, chapel, child care facilities, youth center and Visiting Officer Quarters. The Airport serves as hub for US Postal Service during Christmas holiday season and there are several aviation related businesses. The Department of Interior has requested transfer of an 80-acre archeological area, a multi-component historical village designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1996, to the Bureau of Land Management for continued Federal ownership and protection. Over 620 jobs have been created as a result of reuse.
  • England AFB, Alexandria, LA (BRAC 91): The base closed in December 1992, and one year later England had nine new commercial activities, including a facility maintenance firm, a "Magnet" elementary school, an aviation repair company, and a local hospital expansion. The Airport was named 1997 Louisiana Airport of the Year. President Clinton stated "no place in the United States has done a better job (in the base conversion business) than Alexandria, Louisiana. The Mayor stated that the closure of the base allowed their community to diversify its economy. Pride International, a start-up company in 1995 in one hanger with 15 employees, has phenomenal growth. Today Pride is one of central Louisiana's fastest growing companies employing more than 200 workers with an annual payroll of $7M. Due to the growth and demand for playing time, the golf course is expanding from a 9-hole to an 18-hole Professional Golf Association (PGA) tournament quality course. Almost 1,800 new jobs have been created.
  • Gentile Defense Electronics Supply Center, Kettering, OH (BRAC 93): The station closed in December 1996, and the City of Kettering has redesigned the site into a modern, first-class business park. The first major tenant, Bank One, now General Electric Card Services, the fourth largest private label credit card business, converted two large warehouses into a state of the art credit card processing center. Its next major tenant, National Composite Center, similarly renovated its facility, which designs and tests prefabricated fiberglass car body parts for Ford and General Motors. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) signed the first Air Force leaseback arrangement with the City in May 1999. These efforts have brought over 1,800 jobs to the Kettering area.
  • George AFB, Victorville, CA (BRAC 88): The base closed in December 1992, and reuse of the former base is underway with 100% of the base deeded or in long-term lease. The Victor Valley Economic Development Authority's reuse supports a variety of community needs. The flight line has a new life as the Southern California Logistics Airport and is primarily utilized to transport Army reservists to and from Fort Irwin, CA. The Federal Bureau of Prisons constructed a facility on 900 acres of property that opened in October 2000. Sumiden Wire Manufacturing Company has constructed a 50,000 square foot facility for manufacturing wire products. Two parcels are being used by the local school districts for educational purposes. Construction of multi-million dollar High Desert Power Plant began 5 April 2001. Over 770 new jobs have been created.
  • Griffiss AFB, Rome, NY (BRAC 93/95): The base closed on September 30, 1995. The Air Force's Rome Laboratory and a Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) center anchor the Griffiss Technology and Industrial Park's diverse and expanding workforce. The Central Heating Plant (CHP) was converted from coal to natural gas in May 1998 by Air Combat Command (ACC) for $3.2M. Action will permit future use of steam plant for redevelopment. Operations of the steam plant have been transferred to the community. The Rome Free Academy High School board has started construction of a new high school. Expected construction completion date is Fall 2002. The school will house grades 9-12 and have a capacity of over 1800 students. Over 850 new jobs have been created.
  • Grissom AFB, Peru, IN (BRAC 91): The base realigned in September 1994 leaving a cantonment area of 1,380 acres used by the Air Force Reserve. Grissom was the location of the first DOD Finding of Suitability for Early Transfer (FOSET). The early transfer property was deeded to the State of Indiana for the development of a new State Correctional Facility that opened in 1999. Over 700 jobs have been created due to reuse.
  • Homestead AFB, Homestead, FL (BRAC 93): The base realigned in April 1994; leaving a cantonment area of 867 acres used by the Air Force Reserve. The Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust constructed and is operating an $8M facility for the temporary housing and training of approximately 300 homeless individuals and families. With a $4M planning grant, the Miami-Dade County Parks and Recreation Department is constructing a 213-acre regional park. The Department of Labor has developed a Job Corps Center to provide basic education, vocational skills training, work experience, counseling, and health care to over 400 youths. Over 250 new jobs have been created.
  • Kelly AFB, San Antonio, TX (BRAC 95): The base realignment was completed in July 2001. Ninety percent of the surplus buildings on Kelly AFB are under lease, saving the government over $19.0M per year in Operation and Maintenance (O&M) costs. Major construction projects under way by Pratt & Whitney and Boeing. Construction of a new Greater Kelly Development Authority (GKDA) Administration building is on going. The Cooperative Agreement is saving the government at least 20% or $2M per year. The current Base Operating Support (BOS) contractor estimates savings of 38% over the peak CE workload and converted activities under the Cooperative Agreement.. GKDA and Boeing are negotiating to expand Boeing's capability. Lockheed Martin has hired over 1,400 employees to accomplish the propulsion workload remaining at Kelly. They will continue to consolidate from 1.4M square feet (currently occupied) to approximately 900,000 square feet. Gas and electric utilities were transferred to City Public Service (CPS) 14 January 2000. Compressed Air System was transferred to GKDA on 20 March 2000. The Air Force water, sewer, chilled water and steam systems were transferred effective December 1, 2000. Over 5,500 new jobs have been created, many of which were federal employees hired by the contractors.
  • K. I. Sawyer AFB, Marquette, MI (BRAC 93): The base closed in September 1995, resulting in the loss of 788 civilian and 2,354 military jobs. The first Economic Development Conveyance (EDC) allowed the County to transition the nuclear weapons storage area into a high-tech sawmill, which now ships lumber all over the Midwest. Numerous other businesses are being cultivated by the County to assist in the redevelopment of the base: i.e., aircraft maintenance, garden and recreational prefab building manufacturing, food processing, computerized tool and dye design, and aluminum product manufacturing. Marquette County moved its airport to the former base to spur more business relocation. A new passenger terminal opened in September 1999. With businesses relocating to the base, most of the base housing is occupied and the former base school reopened to serve the community's growing educational needs. The Airport Public Benefit Conveyance and the second EDC were signed in December 1999. Over 960 reuse jobs have now been created.
  • Loring AFB, Limestone, ME (BRAC 91): The base closed in September 1994, and the LRA continues to work toward redevelopment. The Rural No-Cost Economic Development Conveyance (EDC) for 3,694 acres to the LDA in April 1997, for Loring On-Site Property included all utility systems. Quickly transferring a large base to provide the community with a jump-start for economic redevelopment. A Rural (no-cost) EDC for 36 acres to the City of Presque Isle, ME, was executed in November 1998. A Federal transfer to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in September 1998 included Loring On-Site Property (3,886 acres), the Madawaska Dam (546 acres), and the Caribou Communications Site (26.5 acres), enabling the continued preservation of this property for continued public purpose. The Air Force has conveyed two parcels of land to the Aroostook Band of Micmacs Tribe. The two parcels, totaling approximately 28 acres, are located on off-base sites at Connor and Presque Isle. These two transfers provided much-needed housing to the Tribe.. Over 970 jobs have been created as a result of reuse at Loring.
  • Lowry AFB, Denver, CO (BRAC 91): The base closed in September 1994, and the Local Redevelopment Authority's motto "Live, Learn, Work and Play" is the LRA's motto and it is quickly becoming a reality. The base has totally changed since the Air Force's departure with an entire new town being built on the former base. New roads and other infrastructure have been developed. Old base housing removed and new homes built in their place. The former headquarters and heat plant will be converted into loft apartments surrounded by a community complex of stores and businesses. High-tech operations such as Bonfils Blood Bank and the Lowry Higher Education Center have made the former base a "wholistic" redevelopment.. These efforts have created over 3,000 new jobs.
  • March AFB, Riverside, CA (BRAC 93): The base realigned in March 1996, leaving 2,091 acres to be used by the Air Force Reserves. The March Joint Powers Authority continues to pursue a developmental combination of public service and job oriented businesses. The Ben Clark Public Safety Center is open and now training public safety and law enforcement officers to serve the community. Public recreation needs are being met with rebuilt athletic fields, a library renovation, and strong community use of the existing golf course. The recent completion of a 225,000 square foot Phillips redistribution warehouse provides strong incentives for ancillary development of the airfield and created 140 new jobs. A total of over 200 new jobs have been created.
  • Mather AFB, Sacramento, CA (BRAC 88): The base closed September 30, 1993 and was the first military base on the National Priority Listing to have an "Early Transfer" approved. Early Transfer for 24 acres approved April 1998. Property transferred by deed June 1998. To date, the County of Sacramento has netted approximately $2.5 million for additional reuse efforts from this transaction. An additional 140 acres of land were approved for early transfer in December 1998. Air Cargo Operations now include Emery World Wide, UPS, Airborne, and a number of other smaller cargo companies. Amount of cargo going through Mather continues to increase on a monthly basis. The County's plans to make Mather Field a Pacific Rim cargo hub. Over 2,980 new jobs have now been created.
  • McClellan AFB, Sacramento, CA (BRAC 95): This base is closed on July 13, 2001. The August 1998 Economic Development Conveyance is well into implementation through a Lease in Furtherance of Conveyance. To date, 85 percent of the buildings have been conveyed through lease for reuse. A total of 2,661 acres have been leased or deeded. The electrical, water, and natural gas distribution systems have been transferred to the LRA and the utility operators. The installation of meters to allow individual service is in progress for the electrical and water systems and underway for the natural gas system. The transfer of the storm drain system was completed July 12, 2001. These efforts have created over 3,150 reuse jobs.
  • Myrtle Beach AFB, Myrtle Beach, SC (BRAC 91): The base closed in March 1993, and redevelopment activity at this former base has generated 1,151 new jobs, with Horry County Aviation Department employing over 400 people in the daily running of the commercial airport. Aviation-related businesses account for an additional 100 jobs. Other reuses include residential, education, recreation, county and city governments, and a range of small businesses. AVX Corporation, a high tech corporation, purchased 69 acres in 1994 to expand existing operations. The 800-unit rental housing community, which began operations in June 1997, currently has about a 90% occupancy rate. Essentially all property at the base has been conveyed by deed or is under lease.
  • Newark Air Force Station (AFS), Newark, OH (BRAC 93): The station closed in 1996, and was immediately taken over by the LRA and subleased to Boeing Corporation that continued with the same mission of calibrating missile guidance systems for the Air Force. Newark was the first deeded privatization of a closing base within DOD. Jobs were immediately created with the EDC because contractors gave jobs to federal employees impacted by the closure. Not only was there a seamless transition of the workload, but the Air Force transferred the property for this operation by deed prior to the closure of the base. Over 960 jobs remain at Newark.
  • Norton AFB, San Bernardino, CA (BRAC 88): The base closed in March 1994. The San Bernardino International Airport Authority is presenting the former base as a land of opportunity. The deeding of approximately 1,065 acres for the San Bernardino International Airport will improve the community's ability to attract airport-related investors and entrepreneurs. Thomas Ramo Woolridge (TRW) is in full operation of its Strategic Systems Division employing over 400 workers. The San Bernardino Community College District is developing a technology park featuring a regional technology center, education and work training programs, and private sector technology companies. The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians (SMBMI) is developing a portion of the former base as an employment training center focusing on air cargo handling and warehousing techniques. Another area will be set aside by SMBMI to archive Native American artifacts. Even Hollywood has shown an interest by filming two major motion pictures at the former base. Over 2,380 new jobs have now been created.
  • O'Hare AFS, Chicago, IL (BRAC 93): This station was closed on July 31, 1999. The City of Chicago recognized early the value of the O'Hare facility. There is little to no property available around one of this nation's busiest airports. The planned United Airlines headquarters on the facility is the first of many such developments. The Air Force benefited from the closure of O'Hare due to the relocation of the Air National Guard unit at no cost to the Government to new facilities at Scott AFB. In exchange, O'Hare International Air Port received property that potentially could bring greater economic value to the City of Chicago. Over 225 new jobs have been created.
  • Onizuka AFS, Sunnyvale, CA (BRAC 95): The Air Force transferred the Onizuka Housing Area and related facilities to the Army on July 26, 2000. The Army plans to manage the housing and serve military members in the region that are suffering from lack of affordable housing.
  • Ontario AFS, Ontario, CA (BRAC 95): This station closed in September 1998. On March 28, 2001, the transfer of all land, facilities, and personal property at Ontario AFS to the City of Los Angeles, Department of Airports, was completed. They plan to use the 12 acre site for on going expansion of the new Ontario International Airport. and will be used by the city as an addition to the airport.
  • Plattsburgh AFB, Plattsburgh, NY (BRAC 93): The base closed in September 1995, and On March 9, 2001, CCIDA and AFRPA signed EDC agreement for 929 acres. Bombardier has set up a rail car manufacturing operation using on and off base facilities. Additionally, Pratt & Whitney have opened a flight test facility. The presence of both of these major companies will serve as centerpieces for reuse. Lakeside Container, Inc. closed sale of approximately 24 acres for $280k. Department of Interior has deeded approximately 32 acres of Lakefront Property to the City of Plattsburgh and approximately 80 acres of land were deeded to CCIDA for subsequent conveyance to Select Group for a residential development.. Much of this property has been subleased resulting in the creation of over 792 jobs.
  • Pease AFB, Portsmouth, NH (BRAC 88): Pease AFB closed in March 1991 resulting in the loss of 400 civilian jobs. Today, the establishment of the Pease International Tradeport has created over 2,730 new jobs. Federal transfer to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for establishment of the Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge consisting of 1054 acres. Airport public benefit conveyance of 2953 acres to the Pease Development Authority (PDA) for the Pease International Tradeport. Current tenants include Pan Am, Alliance Aircraft Corp., Marriott, Redhook Brewery, Lonza Biologics and many others. In December 1998, PDA opened a new passenger terminal with a Customs and Immigration Processing Center for international travelers. The Air Force Real Property Agency (AFRPA) Operating Location at Pease closed on September 30, 2000. Any remaining workload at Pease will be the responsibility of the AFRPA Operating Location at the former Loring AFB.
  • Reese AFB, Lubbock, TX (BRAC 95): The base closed in September 1997, and most of the base will be conveyed as a no cost EDC. Texas Tech University's Wind Engineering and Research Center has subleased for a research field laboratory as part of a $2.0M grant from the Texas Department of Economic Development Board. Texas Tech and the Local Redevelopment Authority (LRA) received a grant for construction of a super computer system. The grant will fund fiber optic cables that will connect the main Tech campus, Texas Tech Health Sciences Center and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (Lubbock Office). Over 350 jobs have been created by reuse.
  • Richards-Gebaur AFB, Belton, MO (BRAC 91): The base was closed in September 1994. This was the second closure for this base and only 428 acres remained. Over 238 acres are being retained by the Marine Corps and the U.S. Army. The City of Belton is buying 13 acres for additional development and settlement.. A newly formed LRA is developing plans for the reuse of the remaining 177 acres and anticipates submission of an EDC application during this calendar year. Over 485 jobs have been created through reuse of the base.
  • Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base (ANGB), Columbus, OH (BRAC 91): BRAC 91 directed the closure of Rickenbacker ANGB in 1994, with several buildings remaining under Air Force control indefinitely and the relocation of the Air Guard and Reserve. BRAC 93 reversed part of the '91 action; the Air Guard remained at Rickenbacker and the Air Reserve relocated to Wright-Patterson AFB. In the past 5 years, over 10 million square feet of space has been constructed at Rickenbacker attracting 30 development projects, representing 55 companies such as Laura Ashley, Eddie Bauer, Kubota Tractors, Whirlpool, Lucent Technologies, Xerox, Kraft Foods, and Circuit City. Over 2,260 new jobs have now been created.
  • Roslyn Air National Guard Station (ANGS), East Hills, NY (BRAC 95): This station closed in September 2000. Roslyn ANGS deeded to Village of East Hills on November 30, 2000. Turn-over ceremony held on December 9, 2000. On July 2, 2001, the Village paid off Promissory Note with a check for $2.7M.
  • Williams AFB, Mesa, AZ (BRAC 91): The base closed on September 30, 1993. Now known as the Williams Gateway Airport, the former Williams AFB has quickly emerged as an international aviation and aerospace center with more than 30 companies engaged in aircraft maintenance and modification, avionics, flight training, and air cargo operations. In addition, Williams Campus has been established as an education, training, and research facility by a consortium of local institutions including Arizona State University. After losing 728 jobs at the time of closure, Williams now boasts more than 2,350 new jobs and is home to more than 2,000 college students and 760 high school students. Eventually, the Williams Gateway Airport and Williams Campus are expected to employ 17,000 and serve more than 20,000 students. The National Association of Installation Developers Facility of the Year Award went to the Williams Gateway Authority in 1996.
  • Wurtsmith AFB, Oscoda, MI (BRAC 91): The base closed in June 1993. A large portion of the base, 1,344 acres, is being used as a public airport. Several small parcels will be transferred to other Federal agencies, and the remainder of the base is a no cost EDC to the LRA. The aircraft maintenance operation and several businesses have provided opportunities for redevelopment at the base. The LRA continues to develop the property and 428 jobs have been created through reuse.