Without the prospect of a BRAC round to help the military services shed excess infrastructure, most have begun to budget larger sums to demolish facilities they no longer need. The Army has significantly increased spending to raze facilities since fiscal 2016, Lt. Gen. Gwen Bingham, assistant chief of staff for installation management, told the House Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee last week. The service plans to spend about $100 million in the current year on demolition and it has requested more than $200 million for FY 2019. Under the Army’s “Reduce the Footprint” initiative, officials are consolidating personnel into the facilities in the best shape, and getting rid of those in poor or failing condition.
“So we are taking it seriously and we are trying to rid ourselves of that excess because we know it is costing dollars,” Bingham said. The Army has about 170 million square feet of excess capacity.
The Navy included $122 million in its FY 2019 proposal to demolish excess infrastructure, which would mark the first time it has devoted a significant amount of money to that activity in several years. The service has a priority list of $311 million worth of demolition projects, Vice Adm. Dixon Smith, deputy chief of naval operations for fleet readiness and logistics, told the panel. “We’re going after it. This year’s proposed budget just gives us that opportunity to do it,” Smith said.
The Marine Corps requested spending $74 million next year to raze 1.8 million square feet of unneeded infrastructure. Getting rid of that space would have a huge payoff, allowing the Marine Corps to avoid $9.4 million in operations costs, said Maj. Gen. Vincent Coglianese, commander of Marine Corps Installations Command and assistant deputy commandant for installations and logistics (facilities).
The Air Force has been budgeting about $25 million each year for consolidation and demolition, Maj. Gen. Timothy Green, director of civil engineers and deputy chief of staff for logistics, engineering and force protection, told lawmakers.