The process is watched carefully by communities where military bases are strong employers and economic drivers.
There have been five rounds of base closures: 1988, 1991, 1993, 1995 and 2005. In the past 15 years, there has been no BRAC.
And there’s no way to know when there will be another, Carter said.
“You’d have to have a magic wand to figure out when that will be,” he said.
U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, speaks at a podium Monday at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, looks on from Carter's right. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF
However, Turner noted that the Department of Defense has asked every two years for a new BRAC. Congress has deferred, but it’s not clear that can continue indefinitely, especially with growing federal spending and the nation on the cusp of either a new presidential administration or a second term for President Donald Trump.
“It’s very likely that someone might be, in looking to find savings with all the new modernization we have, to look to the BRAC process,” Turner said. “Infrastructure needs and how bases prepare to make certain they can solidify the missions they have is always important.”
Wright-Patterson is key to winning the next war, Carter said.
“Our adversaries have been watching us fight, and how we fight, developing weapons to make problems for us if we are fighting them,” he said. "So therefore, as we look at BRAC, we’re going to be looking at the ability ... to get infrastructure to the base to expand their mission.
He added. “The missions that are taking place here (at Wright-Patterson) are fantastic and unbelievable, and extremely important missions for the future of warfighting.”
While Carter supports Texas as a permanent headquarters for the U.S. Space Command, he said he finds Wright-Patterson well-positioned there, too.
“They are ready if they are chosen," he said of Wright-Patterson, which Dayton-area advocates have nominated as the new home for Space Command, current at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado.