In November 2005 the Congress approved, and the President signed into law, recommendations of the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission that directed the closure of some military bases and the realignment of military components throughout the country, in order to modernize and enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of our domestic military operation. The BRAC law requires all these movements to be completed by September 2011.
The main impact of the 2005 BRAC law on Montgomery County is the decision to close the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and consolidate most of its functions in Bethesda with the National Naval Medical Center (NNMC), commonly known as Bethesda Naval Hospital. Rapid unanticipated growth at the Bethesda campus will have serious traffic and environmental consequences on the region. This expanded flagship military medical institution, renamed the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, will bring an additional 2,500 employees to the Bethesda campus and double the hospital’s current patient and visitor load.
The Office of the County Executive has assumed direct oversight and coordination of BRAC activities for the county government. A BRAC Coordinator position has been created which is responsible, working with County agencies and the general public, to develop the County’s approach to issues arising from BRAC growth and devising strategies to address them.