While on active duty as an Air Force colonel, I was a technical adviser to several source selection panels and as an operations research analyst during the base realignment and base closure (BRAC) process. In all instances, the deliberations and final decisions were based on rigorous analysis. A detailed report that clearly identified the metrics used and the values assigned to each in arriving at the final decision was made available to all interested parties.
Any concerns identified during this review process were duly noted and thoroughly investigated. Continued areas of disagreement could, and were, brought to the attention of the Government Accountability Office (GAO), who acted as final arbiter.
Against this background, I find the complete ad hoc nature in which the NGA West relocation decision was made as fatally flawed and an injustice to the citizens and local governments most closely affected by the decision. The Corps of Engineers can, and must, do better. In a rigorous and transparent manner, and with clearly understood metrics and standards, let’s do this right. National security decision making is too important to do otherwise.
Craig Northrup, O’Fallon