Big Army Construction Increase Approved

Big Army Construction Increase Approved

Photo by: Department of Defense

A House committee has approved a $924 million Army construction budget for fiscal year 2018, $3 million more than requested by the Trump administration and a dramatic 80 percent more than the Army received for fiscal year 2017.

In approving the budget, the House Appropriations Committee asked the Army to try to improve installation access control points. “Since Sept. 11, 2001, the Department has made significant safety improvements at base entry points across many installations, but more needs to be done,” lawmakers say in a report. “The Committee is concerned that many of the Army’s access control points do not provide adequate controls for traffic flow on and off the installation.”

There is $33 million in the budget for a new access control point for Fort Gordon, Ga.

Army funds are part of a $192.9 billion appropriation for Department of Veterans Affairs and Defense Department construction. It also contains $182 million for Army family housing construction and $346 million for Army housing operation and maintenance, both figures that are $20 million over the 2017 budget.

This is not the final bill. The measure still needs to pass the House of Representatives, and the Senate will prepare its own version of the appropriations. Any differences will have to be reconciled before a final bill passes.

There are many funding projects, including a $38 million training support facility at Fort Rucker, Ala.; $21 million for an ammunition supply point at Fort Carson, Colo.; $28 million for a training facility at Fort Benning, Ga.; $150 million to begin a hospital replacement project at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.; $60 million for a new recruit reception barracks complex at Fort Jackson, S.C.; $35 million for a battalion headquarters complex at Fort Hood, Texas; and $66 million for a new confinement facility at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.