Major proposed budget cuts are likely to leave out a number of vehicle maintenance projects, childcare facilities and barracks for both officer and enlisted soldiers.
The Army has submitted a budget of $173 billion, which is $3.6 billion less than what it got last year. They’ve put money into modernization, readiness and personnel at the cost of other areas, such as construction.
On the service’s $5.5 billion unfunded requirements list for fiscal year 2022, at least six current projects would not receive money to complete construction. New construction on another 17 projects would have to wait at least another year.
The unfunded requirements list serves as a communication from each service to Congress on projects or needs that are a high priority but were not factored into the budget they submitted. The items on the list were left off the budget to meet the funding expectations of the president, who outlines executive branch funding plans for the larger federal government annual budget.
The construction section of the unfunded requirements list amounts to nearly $1 billion. It’s too early to tell what, if anything, on the list will end up being funded after Congress scrubs the budget and begins writing the annual defense budget.
In his letter to committee members about the list, Chief of Staff of the Army James McConville wrote that funding an additional $608 million could address many items on that list, including command and control training sites, as well as help address climate change across all three Army components.
Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth and McConville testified Tuesday for nearly two hours before the Senate Armed Services Committee subcommittee on Airland.
Some senators made specific references to projects or facilities in their states. When pressed about the adequacy of the current budget to meet the Army’s needs, Wormuth specifically referenced woeful soldier housing as something she would use more money to fix.
“Having seen, for example, barracks at Fort Hood, I would certainly welcome more funds,” Wormuth said.
But outdated and dilapidated barracks at the central Texas installation are not the only construction efforts that need attention.
The following items were listed under construction projects to complete:
- Family housing replacements at – Kwajalein Atoll; Tobyhanna Army Depot, Pennsylvania; Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico
- AIT barracks at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia
- Reception Barracks Complex, Phase 1, at Fort Jackson, South Carolina
- Army Family Housing Construction planning technical engineering design services for fiscal years 2023 – 2025
These new construction projects were also listed as unfunded in the current budget:
- A 150-bed facility at the Mead Training Site, Nevada
- Transient training enlisted barracks at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin
- An 88-bed unaccompanied housing and 200-person dining facility at Camp Minden, Louisiana
- Two 252-soldier permanent barracks at Fort Hood, Texas
- A 224-soldier permanent party barracks at Fort Polk, Louisiana
- A 372-soldier barracks at Fort Stewart, Georgia
- A 300-trainee AIT barracks complex at Fort Rucker, Alabama
- A 338-child development center at Fort Knox, Kentucky
- A 338-child development center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
- A vehicle maintenance shop at Camp Bullis, Texas
- An engineering center at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York
- An aviation operations building at Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii, to support a Combat Aviation Brigade
- A rotary wing parking apron at Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii
- A 97,078-square-foot National Guard Readiness Center to accommodate 233 soldiers at Sioux Falls, South Dakota
- A 64,634-square-foot National Guard Readiness Center to accommodate 197 soldiers in Huntsville, Alabama
- A 52,495-square-foot addition to the Camp Shelby, Mississippi, Army National Guard facility with 12 general purpose bays for the M1 Family of Vehicles maintenance
Todd South has written about crime, courts, government and the military for multiple publications since 2004 and was named a 2014 Pulitzer finalist for a co-written project on witness intimidation. Todd is a Marine veteran of the Iraq War.