On October 7, the business and military communities celebrated the tremendous success of the 2005 round of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC). In 2005, Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission recommendations became law, with a mandated completion date of September 15, 2011. This period is commonly referred to as “BRAC 2005.” Between 2006 and 2011, the Department of Defense spent more than $3.33 billion on construction/renovation projects at San Antonio military bases. These projects resulted in more than 78 major facilities and 156 construction contracts.
Chamber Chairman Sam Dawson, CEO of Pape-Dawson Engineers, welcomed the audience to the luncheon and discussed The Chamber’s involvement in the preparation efforts for BRAC 2005.
“San Antonio is known around the nation as Military City U.S.A., and we proudly stand by the moniker each and every day,” said Dawson. “Today we are here to celebrate the strong relationship that our business community and military have. It is because of that relationship that San Antonio was able to adequately provide support to the military missions as they worked to implement all of the projects identified by the 2005 round of BRAC.”
Following lunch, former Chamber Chairman Mike Novak, President and CEO of the Novak Group, provided a historical perspective on The Chamber and business community’s involvement over the past 6 years of BRAC implementation. Novak currently serves as a Tri-Chairman of the Military Transformation Task Force (MTTF).
“This was an intense effort by the business community, the City of San Antonio and the county,” said Novak. “At the end of the day, it was because of these collaborations that San Antonio has gotten an ‘A’ on our report card.”
Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff also spoke at the luncheon, where he expressed his satisfaction with the success of BRAC 2005 and discussed the efforts and funding that the county has put into supporting its health care system to ensure the community could support the military’s needs in trauma care.
General Edward A. Rice Jr., Commander of the Air Education and Training Command concluded the luncheon program. General Rice reviewed some of the staggering statistics surrounding the construction and new facilities that have been built in San Antonio to support the training of all military medics.
“The Medical Education and Training Campus (METC) dining hall is over 80,000 square-feet and is the largest dining facility in the U.S. Army inventory,” the general said. “The $28.7 million dining hall has the capacity to serve as many as 4,800 individuals during a single, 90-minute meal period. The 80,000 square feet would fit: 1,782 Smart Fortwo cars, 683 Humvees, 68 T-38 Talon jet trainers, or 240,000 loaves of bread.”
The celebratory luncheon was held on the same day that the new San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC) Consolidated Tower officially opened its doors to patients. The Chamber salutes all those whose hard work and innovation allowed the community and military to partner on the successful implementation of the BRAC 2005 recommendations.