Facilities maintenance has taken a particularly hard hit over the past five years as the department has attempted to mitigate the effect of stringent spending constraints. To make up for the shortfall, the fiscal 2019 base budget proposal calls for spending $10.5 billion on facilities investment compared to last year’s budget request, representing a 7 percent increase. With lawmakers only agreeing to topline spending levels last week, comparisons with actual FY 2018 allocations are not possible. Pentagon Comptroller David Norquist said the funding would be focused on:
· operational and training facilities, including airfield improvements and training ranges;
· maintenance and production facilities to improve readiness, such as hangars and missile assembly buildings;
· recapitalization of facilities in poor and failing condition; and
· improved quality-of-life facilities, including schools, barracks and medical facilities.
The Army’s facilities request is dedicated to improving maintenance and adequately repairing mission facilities, including airfields, training areas, maintenance facilities, roads, ports, dams, bridges, housing and barracks, according to the comptroller’s budget overview. That focus is intended to “directly enhance and enable readiness and morale,” the documents states.
“As the Navy funds installation operations, it continues to prioritize fleet operations, quality-of-life programs, base security and public safety while taking increased risk across other base support programs,” according to the overview. The Navy’s request provides infrastructure to support combatant commanders, enable initial operational capability for new platforms and missions, upgrade energy and utility systems, improve ordnance storage and recapitalize naval shipyards.
The Marine Corps’ request includes an “infrastructure reset strategy” designed to generate long-term savings through a combination of consolidation and new investment. That plan calls for “eliminating redundant and obsolete infrastructure; [and] reducing requirements by decreasing the legacy infrastructure footprint through demolition, with resulting savings reinvested to support base operating support functions,” according to the budget overview. “Through its infrastructure reset strategy, the Marine Corps will continue to optimize base operations support and leverage improved training infrastructure to ensure the readiness of its expeditionary forces,” it adds.
DOD’s military construction and family housing account would climb 36 percent to $10.5 billion under the fiscal 2019 base budget request, compared to FY 2017 spending levels.
Photo by Sgt. Amber Smith