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Gadson: Another Round of BRAC Possible for Area

LORTON, Va. — Fort Belvoir’s Commander Gregory D. Gadson will retire from his post in September; on the heels of what he said could be another round of base closures and realignments.

While there is no official talk of such a move, Gadson said Friday he thinks another round of BRAC, the Base Realignment and Closure commission as its referred to by federal officials, is a real possibility.

“I think there will be another BRAC, though, Congress has forbid us to use the word BRAC,” said Gadson to a group of business owners at a Prince William Chamber of Commerce event in Lorton.

The two military bases in our area, Fort Belvoir and Quantico Marine Corps Base, are fresh off a round of BRAC that was passed into law in 2005. The order meant military offices located inside commercial office buildings in Arlington closed and relocated to the secure military bases.

Fort Belvoir was most impacted by BRAC 2005 than any other military installation as it saw 20,000 new federal workers transferred to the base, on the main post, the new National Geospatial Agency in Springfield, and Rivana Station outside Charlottesville. Quantico saw about 3,000 new federal employees move onto base as part of BRAC. The majority of the BRAC relocation was complete by 2012.

Gadson will leave his post retiring after 26 years of service, with tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. He’s stepping down amid explosive growth at Fort Belvoir as a new 270,000 square feet Exchange store has just opened – the largest in the U.S. – as well as the new Fort Belvoir Community Hospital.

The base has also become a leader in proving military housing to those who work on the base, as well as some Marines who work at Quantico. Fort Belvoir now contracts with a private property management firm to maintain its 2,100 military housing units, some newly built as part of BRAC.

“We can officially say that BRAC has ended but the work of BRAC at Fort Belvoir continues,” said Gadson.

There are other improvements underway at the base, including widening U.S. 1 from Telegraph Road to six lanes from Va. 235 (Mount Vernon Highway), as well as adding a new Twitter account to increase the garrison’s social media presence.

“I don’t tweet, but someone else does maintain that,” quipped Gadson.

The commander will remain in the area after retiring, he said. He continues to encourage small businesses to hire military veterans.

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