Military needs to close more bases: general

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Defense Department could save “big money” by closing more military bases, the four-star general who commands U.S. air forces in Europe said on Wednesday.

General Roger Brady said closing military bases could help avert cuts to military hardware and troop levels as pressure mounts on the defense budget.

“We’ve got too many daggone bases,” Brady told the annual Air Force Association conference, noting that base closures could save millions of dollars a year while averting more onerous personnel cuts or reductions in military missions.

“We really need to look at the real estate question again. I don’t think we can afford not to,” he said.

“There’s big money there.”

Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Tuesday unveiled 23 new measures to end years of massive cost overruns on weapons programs, saying the military needed to “do more without more.”

He said the changes would affect about $400 billion of the Pentagon’s total $700 billion budget, part of a larger effort to save money for new weapons programs and troops.

Editing by Todd Eastham