Symposium focuses on BRAC Management Program

  • Published
  • By Air Force Real Property Agency
  • AFRPA / PA
Experts in the environmental, real estate, contracting and legal fields gathered in San Antonio, Texas Oct. 18-20 to discuss the status of the Base Realignment and Closure program during the annual Air Force Real Property Agency's BRAC Symposium. The goal was to share best practices, discuss lessons learned and outline future milestones.

"Each year attendees come away from the symposium having learned how their day-to-day actions contribute to the overall Air Force mission," noted Dr. Steve TerMaath, AFRPA Chief of the BRAC Program Management Division. "This year my goal was for attendees to also understand how their roles may change as the program shifts its focus toward implementing performance-based remediation contracts and executing accelerated site completion."

The shift comes amid a February 2011 memo from Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations and the Environment Terry Yonkers. The memo directs the Air Force to partner with private industry to clean up contaminated land at former bases faster and to achieve unrestricted future use. The memo also refocuses how the Air Force measures success, concentrating on the number of sites in which remedial action is completed.

During the three-day symposium, attendees participated in training that covered a broad spectrum of BRAC-related topics. Guest speakers presented insights into process improvement, financial management and contracting actions.

Jim Husbands, an acting BRAC Environmental Coordinator for Chanute Air Force Base, has been with the program for nearly 20 years. Despite his vast experience, he said he always learns something new at the annual BRAC Symposium.

"I really enjoyed the Enterprise Project Management session because it provided a good overview of AFRPA's project planning process," said Husbands. "The session helped clarify the role of EPM within AFRPA's larger management structure. It will allow project managers like me to stay on top of our programs and ensure they are accurately portrayed to senior leaders."

Dr. TerMaath said that by drawing upon best practices gleaned during past and ongoing base closures and related environmental cleanups, AFRPA is ready for whatever lies ahead.