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AF installations chief testifies to Congress on BRAC, MILCON

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. David Salanitri
  • Air Force Public Affairs
In testimony before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction-Veteran Affairs here April 12, a senior Air Force leader announced the fiscal year 2014 budget for the service's installation programs.

Kathleen Ferguson, Air Force Installations, Environment and Logistics, outlined the service's request, which allocates $1.3 billion for military construction, $2.2 billion for facility sustainment, $813 million for restoration and modernization, and $465 million for military family housing.

She also emphasized the Air Force's wish to engage in a round of Base Closure and Realignment Commission.

The Air Force's FY14 budget request contains $1.3 billion for military construction, $2.2 billion for facility sustainment, $813 million for restoration and modernization, and $465 million for military family housing. This request comes after a fiscal year 2013 where the Air Force implemented a pause in military construction projects.

This budget "supports the department's strategic priorities, our top weapon systems modernization programs, and distributes MILCON funding equitably between active guard and reserve components," Ferguson said.

During the testimony, Ferguson also discussed the Air Force's modernization objectives, including critical projects to support the F-35 and KC-46, recapitalization of U.S. Strategic Command Headquarters, and construction of the new Cyber Command Joint Operations Center.

With the Air Force reducing its active duty force by about 8 percent, excess infrastructures are causing the service to spend money on maintenance during a time when each dollar is critical.

Ferguson explained that the money being used to maintain these excess infrastructures "would be better spent on recapitalization and sustainment," and added "divestiture of excess property on a grander scale is a must."

As FY14 approaches, Ferguson noted current fiscal challenges, assuring the Air Force remains committed to being responsible stewards of taxpayer money.

"During this period of fiscal uncertainty, the Air Force is ready to make the tough decisions required to avoid mission-impacting reductions, and installation support that contribute to a hollow force," Ferguson said.

"Our fiscal 2014 budget request addresses our most pressing needs, seeks authorization to eliminate unnecessary infrastructure, and stays true to the fundamental priorities of the Air Force."