BRAC - NAS-JRB
Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) is the process for the Department of Defense to transform its infrastructure to meet the future needs of the military. All branches of the military will dispose of surplus property, as a result of closures and realignments, by way of very specific methods and processes mandated by law. The methodology of BRAC as well as other valuable information is available on the Office of Economic Adjustment website at www.OEA.gov.
BRAC 2005 closed NAS-JRB (Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base) Willow Grove located in Horsham Township, PA. Navy and Marine Corps operations were transferred to other bases. Operational closure for NAS-JRB Willow Grove occurred on September 15, 2011. NAS-JRB Willow Grove by federal statue was to have been declared surplus in June 2006. The delay was caused by the special legislation that was passed at the request of former Governor Rendell to allow for the creation of a joint interagency airport installation. In a dramatic turn of events, the Governor, on November 12, 2009, sent a letter to Secretary of Defense advising him officially that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania would not be able to afford to undertake the creation of the nation's only state-operated base to provide national defense, homeland security, and emergency preparedness (traditionally federal government responsibilities). Horsham Township Council created the HLRA in 2005 and had expected to have completed the redevelopment plan of NAS-JRB Willow Grove long before the Navy departed. Had the process followed the prescribed course as provided by the Base Realignment and Closure Act of 2005 (BRAC), the implementation of the plan could have started in September 2011 when the Navy closed the facility.
The Navy finally issued a declaration of surplus property on September 16, 2010. This was the first official listing of the amount of property that the Federal Government would be disposing under BRAC 2005 at NAS-JRB Willow Grove.
The HLRA has received grants from the Federal Government for its operating expenses and the hiring of planning consultants to assist with the redevelopment plan and the maze of regulations relating to closing bases. The NAS-JRB Willow Grove Redevelopment Plan and Homeless Assistance Submission was completed in April 2012. The Navy is preparing an environmental impact study that reviews the environmental impacts of the proposed use of the property and several other alternatives. The Navy currently projects the Environmental Impact Statement's Record of Decision to be complete in 2014.