REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- In a strategic move designed to prepare for the Army’s continued readiness and modernization, Army Materiel Command senior leaders are implementing an investment plan that outlines options for optimizing construction dollars through the next decade.
The Facilities Investment Plan, along with related strategic investment plans – namely the Housing Implementation Plan and Army Standard Design – is a compilation of all current facility requirements throughout the Army, a prioritization of those requirements and then a plan of how the Army should use its limited construction and renovation resources to fulfill requirements, said Dr. Christopher Hill, director of AMC’s Analysis Group.
Requirements for the Army’s 125 installations are provided through Senior Commanders and categorized under the Army priorities of Quality of Life, Power Projection, Installation Readiness Infrastructure, Modernization and Stationing Requirements, and Sustainment.
“We have captured all the facility requirements enterprise-wide and we have done an analysis to determine what requirements should be met to best meet Army priorities,” Hill said. “We are using the Facilities Investment Plan to merge the funds available with priorities and emerging requirements. This plan will be used to go the Army Senior Leadership and ultimately to Department of Defense and Congress for needed resources.”
Within the FIP, 2,318 facilities Army-wide are identified to either be repaired or replaced, out of a total of $56 billion in requirements. Available funding for Restoration and Modernization construction between fiscal years 2021 and 2030 is $10.5 billion while available funding for Military Construction between fiscal years 2022 and 2030 is $6.2 billion.
“We have a 10-year plan for $16 billion in projects; five years are already locked in place and the other five years are projected,” Hill said. “The challenges we have faced are a growing list of requirements well beyond that $16 billion and rising construction costs. We are working to find a balance between the two.”
While requirements are identified for 10 years out, Hill said the requirements for each year must be regularly reviewed for changes and additions. Currently, FIP projects for fiscal year 2021 are being implemented while a review of plans for investment in fiscal year 2022 is now underway.
“A military construction project takes three years to plan and put on the ground. We have to lock MILCON funds in place three years out,” Hill said. “At the same time, we have to be able to shift parts of the plan to meet emerging requirements that we can’t plan for ahead of time. It is definitely a challenge to instill discipline in the process.”
With limited funds, the FIP is focused on repairing 841 permanent party and 594 training barracks; 146 child development centers/child and youth service centers; and various Installation Readiness/Power Projection facilities (including 52 airfield pavements, 10 railroad facilities, 99 maintenance/hangar facilities, 54 communication/navigation aids, 296 training facilities and 226 other facilities) at nine installations.
The installations that have been given priority for funding include Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and West Point, New York – both running large-scale operations to train enlisted Soldiers and officers, respectively, and both needing Quality of Life facility upgrades. In addition, investments in the areas of Strategic Readiness and Power Projection are focused on Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Fort Hood, Texas; Joint Based Lewis-McChord, Washington; Garrison Hawaii; Garrison Alaska; Fort Irwin, California; and Fort Polk, Louisiana.
“During the wars, these installations took a lot of risk with their infrastructure and now some of that risk is manifested in terms of a crumbling infrastructure and motor pools. We have to address this challenge in terms of renovated and upgraded facilities,” Hill said.
Funding also takes into consideration the construction needs for Department of the Army Headquarters-directed projects; the Pacific area of operation; the Europe area of operation; Fort Hood quality of life; Stationing and Modernization; and the Arctic Strategy.
“The important thing is to make sure we have options available that provide flexibility to address emerging Army priorities while staying in line with the FIP. At the same time, we need discipline in the system that enables directed adjustments from our senior leaders,” Hill said. “For instance, the Pacific Army Prepositioned Stocks-4 includes significant levels of new requirements that aren’t in the FIP. We also had an emerging requirement for a Cyber Center of Excellence and were able to fund 60% of that. We have to maintain the flexibility to provide funds for projects like this that we can’t necessarily plan for in advance.”
Besides the FIP, AMC is also developing and managing the Housing Implementation Plan, providing a strategic framework for investment funding by privatized housing partners, who recoup costs through rental fees charged to Soldiers and their families.
“There’s $5.9 billion in additional capital managed through the HIP. We are starting to see results from this, particularly associated with Fort Campbell (Kentucky) and Fort Hood,” Hill said. “In addition, we are using the Army Standard Design plan to use more standardized, streamlined designs in Army construction.”
For example, Fort Hood residents have seen improvements in 45% of its 5,617 homes, representing a $519 million investment in 540 new Junior NCO home constructions, 2,287 major renovations and 1,753 exterior upgrades. In addition, there have been improvements in running track and artificial turf fields, bowling center, gold course club house, skeet and trap range and outdoor recreation areas.
By 2030, results from HIP and Army Standard Design will include safer and better quality homes with modern amenities and the latest technology, 19% total housing inventory renovated or replaced, improved responsiveness from Residential Communities Initiatives (private partner) housing companies and a reduction in displaced families.
“The goal is to have a consistent plan that provides consistent investment and disciplined execution,” Hill said. “We must use our limited construction funds to have the most impact on the Army’s Quality of Life, Power Projection, Installation Readiness Infrastructure, Modernization and Stationing Requirements, and Sustainment. By doing that, we ensure the Army and its Soldiers and families are ready and resilient, and that we continue to be the best fighting force in the world.”