(June 20, 2017) A subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee approved more than $370 million for military construction in the National Guard for fiscal 2018. The funding includes $210 million for Army National Guard projects and $161 million for Air Guard efforts.
The largest projects include $39 million for a readiness center in Arden Hills, Minnesota, $36 million for a combined support maintenance shop in New Castle, Delaware, and $31 million for a readiness center in Turnwater, Washington. It also includes $25 million to replace a KC-135 maintenance hangar and shops at McGhee-Tyson Airport in Tennessee.
A link to a NGAUS report on the subcommittee’s action is on the association website at www.ngaus.org.
Although the money is welcomed by those who will benefit, it falls far short of what is needed throughout the force. The Army Guard Readiness Center Transformation Master Plan put together a few years ago figured more than $20 billion was needed over 15 years to put armories and readiness centers in fair condition. Another $8 billion over that time is required to reach the top rung of condition.
So the $370 million falls far short of what is needed.
Mike Hadley, the NGAUS legislative director, said, “Guard readiness centers are critical enablers for the Guard to do both its peacetime and wartime missions. We assemble there, we train there, we maintain there. “Substandard facilities have a direct impact on readiness. We cannot allow readiness to suffer simply because we are unwilling to make the investment into this critical infrastructure for the nation.”