Planning the Next BRAC: Redevelopment Alternatives for Dobbins Air Reserve Base and Air Force Plant No. 6
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For nearly 75 years, Dobbins Air Reserve Base (Dobbins) and Air Force Plant No. 6 (AFP #6) have been key military installations supporting Americaﾒs national security. Some fear that shifting budgetary trends and mission goals may jeopardize the future of these two facilities (Trubey 2015). The future of Dobbins will be determined through a Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process. The Department of Defense (DOD) uses the BRAC process to assess the costs and benefits of each base and their capacity to support current and future missions. The DOD then recommends for the realignment or closure of bases deemed too costly to maintain or inessential to maintaining national security. The next BRAC round could potentially occur in 2019 (21 Century Partnership 2016). When this happens, the DOD could recommend for Dobbins to stay at the same capacity, realign and expand its responsibilities, realign and lose some responsibilities, or to close entirely. While AFP #6 is recognized as a separate institution, some fear that if Dobbins closes entirely, Lockheed Martin, who leases AFP #6, may independently choose to terminate its lease and consolidate its operations to other Lockheed Martin operated facilities across the country. Both Dobbins and Lockheed Martin are huge economic drivers for Cobb County and the metro Atlanta region. Aware of the negative economic shock of a closed base, Cobb County officials, regional representatives, and military advocates have been lobbying to keep Dobbins open and to be a gaining facility in the next BRAC round. While the work of this lobbying group is important, there has been little planning conducted for scenarios in which Dobbinsﾒ responsibilities shrink or evaporate. This document will make the case that officials also need to plan for these alternate scenarios. It will also explore the economic recovery of three formerly closed bases to suggest a superior redevelopment route for Cobb County officials to pursue.