Vereen: Installations Need Continued Investment

Vereen: Installations Need Continued Investment

Photo by: U.S. Army/Winifred Brown

The Army continues to prioritize its installations and housing as part of its efforts to improve quality of life for soldiers and families while modernizing and hardening its posts against future threats, a senior leader told lawmakers.

“The Army’s 2024 military construction budget request reflects a balanced investment across the Army’s priorities of people and readiness with an eye toward modernization,” Lt. Gen. Kevin Vereen, deputy Army chief of staff for installations, G-9, testified April 19 before the Senate Appropriations military construction, veterans affairs and related agencies subcommittee.

The Army is seeking $2.8 billion for military construction and family housing in its fiscal 2024 budget request.

Though many Army installations have reasonably priced housing nearby, Vereen said that the Army is expanding low-cost housing access for soldiers in more expensive housing markets, such as Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. “It’s not acceptable when we know we're in a high-cost area and we have young soldiers and families who have to venture miles away to try to find housing to accommodate them,” Vereen said

Beyond the U.S., the Army also is investing in the Arctic and the Indo-Pacific. 

In Alaska, the Army has had “significant” infrastructure improvements since 2018, Vereen said. “We do have a way forward to ensure that we meet the requirements of the Arctic strategy itself,” he said. “If you look at 2024 through 2032, there's 13 projects there. That signifies the growth and the shifting to support the Arctic strategy, so we’re in a good place.” 

The Army is also focusing on creating “significant growth” on Guam to support its pivot to the Indo-Pacific. “The current budget … will cover 11 of our sites that we currently are considering in Guam and a headquarters, a [command and control] element, there as well,” Vereen said.

Continued support of the Army’s infrastructure ensures that the service is ready and resilient, Vereen said. “Army investments to improve capabilities and infrastructure, training, our ranges, facilities, the industrial base, maintenance facilities and power projection allows us to meet the training demand and posture for any contingency across the world,” he said.

On April 25, Vereen and Sgt. Maj. Michael Perry, his senior enlisted adviser, will talk about the Army installations enterprise and its impact on readiness during a Coffee Series event hosted by the Association of the U.S. Army.

For more information or to register, click here.