DoD

March 23, 2012

Pentagon seeks less for construction, more for conservation


The Defense Department is asking for less money for military construction and more for energy conservation in its fiscal 2013 budget request, the deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment told a Senate panel March 21.

Dorothy Robyn said her staff uses joint planning and rigorous analysis to ensure that the right mix of troops is at strategic locations, all while “reducing its footprint” to lessen the department’s environmental impact. She spoke before the Senate Armed Services Committee’s readiness and management support subcommittee.

“My office takes seriously our mission to strengthen DOD’s infrastructure backbone — the installations that serve to train, deploy and support our warfighters,” Robyn said.

The installations and environment fiscal 2013 budget request is $11.2 billion, a decrease of about $3.5 billion from last year’s request. The cut represents tightening budgets, and the services’ decisions to defer facility investments at locations that may have fewer troops due to force structure changes, she said. Under the request, the office would receive:

  • $8.5 billion for military construction, down 29 percent;
  • $476 million for costs from the 2005 base realignment and closure process, down 18 percent;
  • $1.65 billion for family housing, down 3 percent;
  • $151 million for chemical demilitarization, up 100 percent;
  • $150 million for the Energy Conservation Investment Program, up 11 percent; and
  • $254 million for the NATO Security Investment Program, down 7 percent.

The office’s first priority is to support operational missions, Robyn said. The Pentagon is requesting $3.5 billion for operational and training requirements, including building a second explosives handling wharf at Kitsap, Wash.; communications facilities in California and Japan; specialized facilities for special operations forces at various locations; and range and training facilities for ground forces at several Army installations.

The budget request also includes $547 million to replace or renovate 11 Defense Department schools that are in poor or failing condition, mostly overseas. By the end of fiscal 2018, more than 70 percent of DOD schools will have been replaced or undergone substantial renovation.

Also, the budget request includes $1 billion for 21 projects to upgrade military medical facilities. It includes $207 million in the continuing effort to replace the William Beaumont Army Regional Medical Center in Texas and $127 million for the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. It also provides for continued improvement of the medical research facilities that support the chemical-biological mission.

The budget requests $191 million, or about half as much as last year’s request, for family housing construction, but includes $1.5 billion for family housing operations and maintenance, up 11 percent. The military has saved money and has better housing since privatizing its U.S.-based military housing, Robyn said.

“Privatization of family housing … is the single most effective reform my office as carried out,” she said. Before privatization, chronic underinvestment in their facilities had created a crisis for the services, with almost 200,000 of the Defense Department’s family housing units rated as inadequate, she said.

With a $3.6 billion investment, Robyn said, the services generated nearly $30 billion in construction for new and renovated housing.

The budget request includes $1.7 billion for government-owned family housing overseas, which will allow the department to maintain 90 percent of non-Navy housing in good or fair condition, Robyn said. The Navy is expected to reach that goal in fiscal 2017, she said.

The department is seeking $1.1 billion for 28 construction and renovations projects to serve 10,000 unaccompanied personnel, she said.

Robyn said her office is looking at three cost-cutting approaches. One changes the process for leasing space, another promotes innovation and efficiency in the construction industry, and the third is to analyze the effect that investments in energy efficiency have on the long-term costs of owning and operating buildings.

The department has a $4 billion energy bill for its installations that comes almost entirely from commercial power grids. DOD is trying to change that through energy conservation programs and innovations in alternative energy, she said.

“As the owner of 300,000 buildings, it is in DOD’s direct self-interest to help firms overcome the barriers that inhibit innovative technologies from being commercialized and deployed on DOD installations,” Robyn said.

The department has created 70 test projects on innovations in areas such as microgrid and storage technologies, advanced lighting controls, high performance cooling systems, waste heat recovery and on-site generation, she said.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler

40 years of Red Flag ends on high note

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler A C-17 Globemaster III assigned to the 437th Airlift Wing, Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., flies to the Nevada Test and Training Range during Red Flag 15-4, Aug. 25. With a...
 
 

Never underestimate your impact

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey — Every day I visit our great Airmen and every day I come across more than one that underestimates their impact to the mission. There’s the one-stripe maintainer, “just repaneling an aircraft,” for the next day’s flight, or the young personalist, “just issuing another identification card,” or the defender, “just guarding...
 
 

Challenge yourself: Never give up, never quit

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. — I once read that newly created cells in our bodies do one of two things: they either begin to decay or they become more vital. These cells choose their path based on what we demand of them. If we are sedentary, our brains signal our cells to decay; but...
 

 

SECDEF visits Nellis

U.S. Air Force photo by Lawrence Crespo U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter speaks with Airmen from Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases during an all-call at the Lightning Aircraft Maintenance Unit hangar on Nellis AFB, Nev., Aug. 26. Carter’s department is responsible for policy development, planning, resource management, fiscal, and program evaluations for the...
 
 

Air Force extends SAPR services to AF civilians

WASHINGTON — The Air Force released a policy memo today allowing Air Force civilian employees who are victims of sexual assault to file restricted and unrestricted reports with their installation’s sexual assault response coordinator. The policy is effective immediately and allows SARCs and sexual assault prevention and response victim advocates to assist Air Force civilians...
 
 

TRICARE pharmacy rules changing for maintenance, brand-name drugs

WASHINGTON — TRICARE beneficiaries who take certain brand-name medications on a regular basis will be required to fill prescriptions at a military treatment facility or through a mail-in program beginning Oct. 1, a Defense Health Agency official said here Aug. 20. George Jones, DHA’s pharmacy operations division chief, said the new policy does not apply...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>