WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Sept. 26, 2011) -- At Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., the Army spent more than $1 billion on construction, added 2.8 million square feet of facilities and 18 buildings, demolished 140 structures, improved nine miles of roads and upgraded electric, water and information technology infrastructure.

All the work there was part of a successful effort to complete the congressionally mandated Base Realignment and Closure 2005 legislation.

Of course, the 2005 round of BRAC affected more than just the Soldiers and civilians at Aberdeen Proving Ground. The sweeping legislation approved in 2005 by Congress affected the entire Department of Defense. The deadline for compliance with BRAC, Sept. 15, was the same for all those affected. But of all those affected by BRAC, the Army bore the largest burden.

The Army was responsible for 47 percent of the entire DOD BRAC 2005 program. It took six years, nearly $18 billion and the relocation of more than 250,000 Soldiers and their families along with more than 20,000 Army civilian positions to comply with BRAC 2005.

The relocation of that many people affected not just those who had to move, but the communities surrounding installations as well. The BRAC efforts at APG, for instance, brought some 11 organizations there from other installations.

The Army Communications-Electronics Command had 69 percent of its 7,200-person workforce make the move to APG from Fort Monmouth, N.J.

The senior commander at APG, Maj. Gen. Nick G. Justice, lauded local community leaders, and county and state officials for engaging and supporting the post as it renewed itself by shutting down elements and welcoming others.

"They literally went out of their way to encourage people to come down and do pre-location visits here -- to Baltimore, surrounding towns, communities -- [and to] look at housing and schools by providing bus service," he said, noting that the bulk of the workforce at APG is civilian-based.

The Army closed 12 active-component installations, one Reserve installation, and 387 National Guard Readiness and Army Reserve Centers. Additionally, the Army reduced occupancy in eight leased facilities, and also returned more than 70,000 acres of excess property and facilities to local communities, towns and states for redevelopment.

New construction that consolidated bases took place in Maryland and Virginia, while closures in the northeast included Fort Monmouth, Fort Monroe, Va., and Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. The Army's hospital was consolidated with the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., to become the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Additionally, a $1.03 billion community hospital was constructed at Fort Belvoir, Va. That facility spans 1.3 million square-feet and features 120 beds with 55 primary and specialty care clinics, as well as primary and secondary level care. The hospital uses 30 percent less energy than the medical facilities it replaced. More than 3,200 employees will manage the 1,500 patient visits per day.

In Alexandria, Va., the Army Corps of Engineers constructed the tallest structure it has ever built -- the 17-floor Mark Center. While the Army completed its job on time in the construction, the Defense Department offices have yet to completely occupy the building. The complex meets the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Gold standard and uses 40 percent less water and 30 percent less energy than its legacy facilities.

In Springfield, Va., the Corps completed the second largest office building it has ever constructed -- the 2.4-million square-foot National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's Campus East facility. Only the Pentagon is larger.

Other BRAC Facts:

-- 102 congressionally approved Army BRAC recommendations.

-- 50 active installations and three Reserve garrisons were affected

-- 1,147 separate Army actions to meet legislative mandates

-- Army was responsible for 47 percent of the entire DOD BRAC 2005 program resulting in the service's largest organizational transformation since World War II.

-- Army will have closed 12 active-component installations, one Reserve installation and 387 National Guard Readiness & Army Reserve Centers and reduced occupancy in eight leased facilities, returning 70,363 acres of excess property and facilities to communities for redevelopment.

-- Nearly $18 billion -- $13.5 billion planning, design and construction program consisting of 440 projects; $0.3 billion to fund environmental projects; and $3.9 billion for computers, furniture, equipment and permanent change of station moves -- have freed up property, lowered financial costs and reduced the size of the work force which makes Soldiers and Civilians available for other assignments.

-- The Army's largest command, U.S. Army Forces Command and the generating force provider for combatant commanders moved from Fort McPherson, Ga., to Fort Bragg, N.C., in July relocating 2,800 HQ staff members.

-- TRADOC, which operates 33 schools and centers at 16 Army installations moved their HQ of 37 years from Fort Monroe, Va., to Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., in June.

-- The U.S. Materiel Command Headquarters moved to Redstone Arsenal, Ala., from Fort Belvoir, Va., completing the move in April.

-- Thirty BRAC actions across the command closed ammunition plants, chemical demilitarization sites, realigned depot maintenance functions and reconstituted new laboratories and administrative spaces. The action affected one in every six AMC employees, roughly 11,000 across 25 states. AMC also consolidated into four centers of gravity at Huntsville, Ala., Rock Island, Ill., Warren, Mich., and Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. AMC reduced its leased space by more than 235,000 square feet.

--The Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Ga., combined the Infantry School with the Armor School.

--The Ordnance School and Army Transportation School relocated to Fort Lee, Va., to co-locate with other logistics classes.

--The Air Defense Artillery School moved to Fort Sill to join the Field Artillery School in the Fires Center of Excellence.

-- $2.6 billion of the nearly $18 billion helped realign the Reserve Command and control structure. BRAC resulted in the Army Reserve closing 176 older USAR facilities while 125 new joint and multi-component reserve centers opened.