Army Construction Budget Focuses on Housing
Single soldiers, married colleagues and their dependents would see their housing arrangements improve significantly under the service’s proposed $2.8 billion military construction and family housing request, the service’s civilian installations chief believes. The funds are part of the total budget plan the Army presented to Congress in the Biden administration’s 2024 defense-spending bill.
“To strengthen Army readiness and build the force of the future, we must be laser-focused on providing state-of-the-art installations,” Rachel Jacobson, assistant Army secretary for installations, energy and environment, told lawmakers during a recent hearing of the House Appropriations military construction subcommittee, the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) reported.
While much of the request focuses on meeting the increased needs of the Indo-Pacific Command, Lt. Gen. Kevin Vereen, the deputy Army chief of staff for installations, told the panel that such infrastructure plans would factor heavily upon future troop-placement decisions.
“What we’re trying to do from the Army standpoint is to ensure that the infrastructure that we will acquire or we will build, in most cases, gets here before we have to make any other decisions on troop placements,” Vereen said. “Our housing conditions overseas, it is mostly legacy housing, is in dire need of improvement.”
The funds would be used to build new homes and make “substantial improvements” on existing ones, Vereen said, focusing on Germany and Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific.
“If we don’t get this right and we don’t show due diligence with a budget that can get after construction … modernization and renovations, our families vote with their feet – to include our soldiers,” Vereen said, as quoted by AUSA. “We can’t afford that with the things that are going on across the world.”
Armed Forces News