Potomac News Online | BRAC: 3,000 New personnel at Quantico

Quantico Marine Corps base could become the headquarters to all the military’s criminal investigative services as well as other law enforcement activities, if Base Realignment and Closure recommendations announced Friday are approved.

The recommendations call for the addition of 3,000 military personnel, civilians and defense contractors at Quantico.

The BRAC recommendations include moving the Naval Criminal Investigative functions from the Washington, D.C., Naval Yard as well as the Army Criminal Investigation Command from Fort Belvoir to Quantico.

Additionally, it recommends moving the military’s Counterintelligence Field Activity and Defense Security Service, both located in Metropolitan Washington, D.C., to Quantico.

The Quantico base is already home to the FBI Academy, the FBI Laboratory as well as a number of the department’s other units such as its Behavioral Science Unit. The Drug Enforcement Administration also has their training academy at 60,000-acre Quantico base.

 “This will facilitate multi-service missions by creating a joint organizational and basing solution that will not only reduce waste but also maximize military effectiveness,” said Lt. Col. Richard Long, director of the Quantico Public Affairs Office.

The recommendations made by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld have been forwarded to the independent BRAC Commission. The commission’s report will be sent to President Bush by Sept. 8. The president will have until Sept. 23 to accept or reject the recommendations in their entirety.

If he accepts it, Congress will have 45 legislative days to reject the recommendations in their entirety or they become binding.

“The purpose of the defense secretary’s recommendations is to make the most efficient and effective use of all department resources, improve operational efficiency, save taxpayer dollars, advance transformation and enhance the combat effectiveness of our military forces,” Long said.

The recommendations call for about 500 military, 1,300 civilians as well as 1,200 defense contractors to move to Quantico. They would require about 680,000 square feet in new building space, Long said.

Another BRAC recommendation moves the Quantico brig to Chesapeake.  This would mean that the 48 enlisted Marines who work at the brig would be given another duty assignment. One Marine officer would be transferred to Chesapeake, Long said.

“We fully appreciate that the implementation of BRAC actions, which will not be finalized until at least November, can be a difficult transition for affected military and civilian personnel and their families,” Long said. “We will do everything we can to make the transition as smooth as possible.”

The Quantico Marine Corps base is already home to about 7,000 civilians and 7,000 military personnel.

The Marine Combat Development Center, Officer Candidate School, The Basic School, the Marine Corps University as well as a number of other schools are located aboard Quantico. It also houses the Presidential helicopter squadron.

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